Dude, où est mon vélo?

Zut alors!

If you haven’t read the previous NotionsCapital post on Washington’s automated bike rental plans, do that now. The rest of us will just talk amongst ourselves.

Hey – read that post, okay?

Fine. Now that we’re all on the same page we can go to Paris. M. Pierre-Yves Geoffard of that city’s Libération newspaper reports that the Velib bike rental scheme is a victim of its own popularity. There are 15,000 bikes at 1,000 kiosks spread out every 1,000 feet throughout the city. The problem is that supply and demand are not distributed equally at all times.

There are Velib rush hours when it is impossible to find a bike at kiosks near residential neighborhoods and business district kiosks are full of bikes so renters can’t park them, and vice versa. Quelle surprise.

Parisians are crazy about the system but report that it may add ten minutes or more to their commutes. Of course this new excuse for tardiness may only enhance the Velib’s popularity: “Sorry I’m late, Boss. The bike kiosks were all full.”

Image par Mike LICHT

2 Responses to “Dude, où est mon vélo?”

  1. Nikolas Schiller Says:

    Since you’ve posted this entry, I think there have been another 5,000 bikes added to mix in Paris. It’s success should not be considered a problem and I like the idea that the author poses for tiered congestion pricing. I’m still waiting to see how well the system works in DC.

  2. Mike Licht Says:

    Nikolas: Velib is anything but a problem. The problem is that plans for American bike-share systems ignore the lessons learned from the european experiences.

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