Paris to Roll Out Free Bicycles
Paris to Roll Out Free Bicycles
Jan 30, 10:50 AM (ET)
PARIS (AP) - The City of Light wants to soon become a city of bicycles. Paris City Hall announced it has selected French outdoor advertising firm JCDecaux SA to operate a new free bicycle service in the capital.
Joining other European cities like the Dutch capital, Amsterdam, Paris wants to make thousands of bikes available for free to commuters, strollers and tourists - in part to help cut down on pollution.
JCDecaux's Somupi unit is to have some 14,100 bikes deployed in the capital by this summer. City Hall's choice of contractor was announced Monday.
The company was chosen over a consortium of rivals including U.S.-based Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings Inc. (CCO), and several major French companies.
Nice. I'm not going there though, ever.
I read in a book that some Euro city did this a number of years back, and nearly all (like, 98%) the bikes were stolen by the end of the first day.
Originally Posted by nick burns
Is there any city where this has been done and it worked? The article seems to indicate that it has been tried more than once before....
Amsterdam. I was there in the early '80s and saw these bikes, painted completely white from top to bottom, in a number of places so they weren't all stolen, at least not the first day because the program had been going for some time before I visited. I do remember someone saying that many had been stolen.
Originally Posted by Doug5150
Off topic, but I was living in Geneva, Switzerland in the mid '80s and the military issued bikes painted completely in olive drab green. I remember walking down the street in the middle of town one day and seeing a soldier pedal by with some time of bazooka looking thing strapped to the top tube.
Last edited by Proximo; 01-30-07 at 03:18 PM.
They need all the help they can get. I was expecting Paris to have many, many cyclists, being in Europe and all. It had almost none. Toronto has way more.
I've been to Amsterdam and there are f*** loads of bikes, and instead of the obligatory 10x bike rails that most train stations have in many places, they have the bike equivalent of multistory carparks. Even if the free bikes scheme has failed (and I don't have any idea if it has or not), they have certainly managed to make it a very bike friendly city.
I was in Copenhagen a few years ago and they have the free bikes, all painted very bright yellow. You pay to unlock the bike from the rack, and when you get to your destination, you lock it and get your money returned. I've never seen as many bicycles as I did there!
I don't know about Amsterdam's white bikes though I can't remember ever seeing them from 1986 -2002 when I took many trips there. There were 900 free white bikes for the use of visitors at Hoge Veluwe near Otterloo,the largest national park in the Netherlands, and home of Kröller-Müller Museum and its fantastic Van Gogh's, Impressionists (including Seurat) and Picasso's among other fantastic paintings and Sculpture Garden. The bikes were fully adjustable for sizing too so that my whole family could ride through the park.
Originally Posted by Proximo