Velib Success

velib.jpg The media loves the Paris Vélib story. It was covered on NBC news on Friday night and featured in the NYTimes Travel section as a great success and great vacation.

“Twelve weeks after the introduction of the Vélib, 15,000 bikes have been put into service at more than 1,000 stations. In that time Vélibiens (or Vélibeurs or perhaps Vélibistes) have checked out bicycles almost six million times and ridden them an estimated 7.5 million miles.”

The author of the article notes how, “As I peddled around the glass pyramid at the Louvre, I was struck by the strobelike reflections from the royal buildings around it.”

Bike Hugger has ridden all over and we think there’s no better vacation or business trip than getting out into a city on bikes.

Previous Velib coverage


I was going to try and post a photo from my trip a couple months ago, but I see that there are gobs already on Flickr.  I’m not surprised that they’re a big hit.  Paris obviously took the time to plan the program and spent the money to do it well.

According to Charles Bremmer, the system is pretty good for romance, too:

“It’s the perfect pickup,” said Florian, a 23-year-old graduate student who was pedalling on the Boulevard Saint-Germain. “You exchange glances waiting at a light, you help her dock the bike back on to its stand and one thing leads to another.”

More on this topic:
<li>Sex and the Bicycle (fits in well with the .83 calendar post)</li>

Though the cabbies hate them (taking away fares and clogging streets with newbies), the Velibs are doing much to create a Critical Mass of bikes every day. More bikes on the road means safer cycling for everyone.

Very cool to see this happening! I’d love to see a story on what they did to make the program go, as well as what they did to assure the safety of cyclists during the seven million new cycling miles they rode. It doesn’t look like they come w/ helmets or a mandatory cycling education class…

Several cities in the U.S. have tried pilot programÅŸ like Velib. Hopefully the success in Paris will boost efforts in the U.S. as well.

The NBC story (it was quite good actually) focused on Velib being easy, convenient, and “cool.” They also noted how the flat terrain made it more compatible with workers and tourists than say a San Francisco or Seattle.

Putting the story in context, they showed Mayor Bloomberg in Paris checking out the Velib racks. I haven’t seen the NBC story online yet, but there are [Velib videos](

While I enjoyed the NBC news spot and appreciated the exposure it gives the Velib program to a US audience, I was puzzled by their statement at the end about San Francisco be uninterested in the idea:

“S.F. moving to catch up with European bike-share programs” - SF Chronicle

Advertise here

About this Entry

In Bag options for Donut Transportation was the previous entry in this blog.

Bike Calendar Girls is the next one.

Find more recent content on our home page and archives.

About Bike Hugger