Velib One Year Later

In July 2007, Paris launched its ambitious public bicycle program, Vélib. This article provides an overview of the program after its first year in operation. As of July 15, 2008, the system has grown to 16,000 bikes and 1,200 stations. Vélib has 75,000 trips per day on average, with 200,000 annual subscribers and many more who pay a daily or weekly fee. Two-thirds of users say their Vélib trip is usually a segment of a longer journey. About one in five report driving less than they used to. Vélib fills an important gap for short trips and integrates well with other transportation modes. Vélib helps calm traffic and improve air quality in measurable ways. It also reinforces the vitality of public spaces, particularly at night after the metro closes. The Vélib riders have encouraged other Parisians to ride bikes, boosting a renewal in cycling. Vélib has also been a financial success, with the city earning about 20 million euros (29.9 million USD) in revenue from Vélib subscriptions and rental fees. The city also received 3.5 million euros (5 million USD) from the operator of the system that won the contract to implement and manage the system in return for exclusive rights to outdoor advertising in public space. The system has faced challenges, however. Ensuring that both bicycles and open spaces for returns are available at each station has been difficult. Under heavy use and occasional rough treatment, the bicycles have been wearing faster than expected, causing strains in maintenance and prompting a reinforced second generation of bikes. Theft and vandalism also have run higher than expected. Despite these challenges, Vélib is set to expand soon to the first ring of suburbs.


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  • Accession Number: 01121656
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 8 2009 7:28PM