X

Green Joyride Sours for Paris' Rental Bikes

Vandalism, theft hurt pioneering program
By Will McCahill,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 31, 2009 9:32 AM CDT

(Newser) – A public bicycle-rental program launched in Paris in 2007 amid green good feeling has found reality to be a rough ride. Locals and tourists alike get unlimited access to Vélib’s fleet for about $1.50 a day, but some 80% of the $3,500 bikes have been stolen or damaged. “It’s a reflection of the violence of our society and it’s outrageous,” one Parisian tells the New York Times. “The Vélib’ is a public good but there is no civic feeling related to it.”

story continues below

The bikes often show up in Paris’ poor neighborhoods, joyridden to death by disaffected youth; others have hit the black markets of Eastern Europe and North Africa. The company behind the program has had to hire a slew of repairmen, but it and the city have no plans to take the bikes off the road, citing some 63 million rentals.
(Read more Paris stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
X