Friday, August 03, 2007

Catching up with Paris on Cycling...

ABC Radio reports on one of my favourite subjects. Introducing a similar scheme to this for Sydney is part of Council's cycling strategy but it seems the collective view is we need to build a bit more cycling infrastructure before we can successfully introduce a mass bike hire scheme. On Monday night Council will approve a fundamental link in the CBD cycling infrastructure with the King Street CBD connection (see details here) .

Paris bike scheme clocks up 1m rides

Parisians have taken a shine to their city's new bike rental scheme, clocking up 1 million rides since its launch, Paris city hall has announced. More than 10,000 gleaming grey "Velib" bicycles went up for rental at 750 stations across the city on July 15. Their number is set to double to 20,600 by the end of the year. City authorities want residents and tourists to adopt the eco-friendly new system enmasse. Deputy Mayor for Transport Denis Baupin says each bike is already used on average six times per day.

"Once all the stations are up and running, Velib will be carrying as many people as the Paris tramway,"

Velib, a contraction of the French words "velo" (bike) and "liberte" (freedom), is modelled on a successful scheme in the city of Lyon run by advertising giant JC Decaux. JC Decaux is covering the cost of the venture in exchange for exclusive rights to 1,600 hoardings across the city. Registered bikers pay 29 euros ($A46) a year for the rental service, while occasional cyclists can use a credit card to pay a one-off daily fee of 1 euro ($1.60) or weekly charge of 5 euros ($8). Rental is free for the first half hour, rising to 1 euro for the second, 2 for the next and so on - a progressive fee system that is designed to encourage short rents and quick turnover.
Paris joins such European cities as Barcelona, Geneva, Stockholm, Oslo and Vienna, which offer bicycle rentals to try to reduce the number of cars, improve air quality and provide a fun alternative to underground transport.
Tags: environment, france


Anonymous said...

I notice you make no mention of the $4million+ paid by JCDecaux to Paris to operate this scheme. Nor do you mention that all profits from the scheme go to Paris. Nor do you mention the use of trucks to move the bicycles around the various Paris locations.
You must admit that it seems less likely that cities are actually interested in promoting cycling and more interested in filling their coffers.

Shayne Mallard said...

There is a very significant cost associated with establishing and running such a scheme. I note from the ABC report - "JC Decaux is covering the cost of the venture in exchange for exclusive rights to 1,600 hoardings across the city." Vehicle movements, maintenance and opportunity costs would have to be part of any assesment as would the benefits to the city and community. If Council were to profit as well then that would be a win win for the community - however I don't think that Council would be paid in addition to gaining the whole cycle hire system.

Anonymous said...

For your reading pleasure
"All revenue from the program will go to the city, and the company will also pay Paris a fee of about $4.3 million a year."
If Council would like to encourage bicycle hire schemes that actually promote cycling rather than billboard advertising then perhaps talking to Adelaide about their Free City Bikes would be a good start,
as it appears the City of Sydney is not interested in further encouraging the LOCAL businesses already engaged in bike hire schemes in its own city.