Bike Hugger has long been a fan of the metro bicycle rental model implemented in Paris under the moniker Velib. The popularity of the program has been attributed to the availability of bikes and stations which currently number 20,600 cycles and 1,450 rental stations. The success can also be traced back to the low cost for short trips. For 29â‚¬ a year, riders can check out a bike in 30 minute increments as often as he or she likes. The city estimates 120,000 trips are taken each day, logging 27.5 million trips in the first year of the project. Not bad for a city of 2.1 Million residents. To promote the movement, 365 Velib users will be chosen to cross the finish line during the July 27th culmination of the Tour de France.
The New York Times in depth coverage of Velib can be found here.