Thursday, 2 August 2007

Velib cycle scheme hits Paris

Paris is trying out a cycling scheme first developed in Lyon, which looks like a good way to reduce city centre congestion and therefore pollution and carbon emissions. The Velib scheme has 10,600 bikes located at 750 docking stations, with plans to increase this to 20,600 by the end of the year. The docking stations are located at 300m intervals, mainly at transport hubs and popular sites. Commuters can pick up a bike at a docking station and return it to any other docking station. The first half hour of use is free, but after that there is an incremental charge for every additional half hour of use. Users of the scheme can book a Velib pass online or at stations, costing a mere €1 for a day pass, €5 for a weekly and €29 for a yearly, this is an inexpensive and environmentally friendly way of getting to and from work.

The Velib scheme is part of Paris’s mayor Bertrand DelanoĆ«’s aim to reduce car traffic by 40% by 2020. The mayor has already had an extra 200km of cycle paths built, and plans to double the number of cycle lanes by 2008. This popular scheme is a good model for other towns and cities to follow. Creating more cycle paths makes cycling safer and more attractive to commuters. This is a simple way to reduce carbon emissions and get people fitter and healthier at the same time.

[Via International Herald Tribune]

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