Success of Velib in Paris Tempered by Costs of Maintenance
Found on Bike Europe by the indefatigable cycling advocate Ron Richings
Currently there are 16,000 Vélib’s in circulation while there will be 20,600 bikes by the end of 2008. Between 2001 and 2007, the number of bikers in Paris has increased by 94% while car traffic has dropped 20% since then. Today the bike accounts for 2 to 3% of all traffic in Paris.
The down site of Vélib’s success is the huge cost as a result of vandalism and spare parts. In the first half year JCDecaux already spent € 20.6 million to keep the bikes on the road.
I really enjoyed my day on Velib – but the comments about vandalism struck a chord. But there are so many bikes available that you do not get stuck with a clunker for long, just swap it at the next “station”!
By the way take a look at the parked cars – in Parisian terms those are generous gaps between the cars. Compare this use of curb space to Steveston where Richmond has managed to cut the number of parking spaces available by simply painting lines to delineate each space – and each one large enough for an SUV!