View Full Version : Riding the Vélib in France!!

10-22-2007, 08:53 AM
there's a great NY Times article about communal bikes in France

here's a clip of the article:

Beginning on July 15, thousands of bicycles became available in Paris at hundreds of self-service docking stations installed around the city by J. C. Decaux, an outdoor advertising company. Anyone, even fresh-off-the-plane Americans, can stroll over, swipe a credit card and ride away on a sturdy, well-maintained three-speed bike, a “vélo” in French. Access to the bikes is available all of the time; it's liberating, as in “liberté,” so the “Vélib” was born.

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.

10-22-2007, 12:22 PM

Vive la revolution!

Almost makes you want to like the French again after the WRC

10-24-2007, 12:47 PM
Chouette! (Some of us never stopped liking the French).

10-24-2007, 01:48 PM
that is very cool! i just sent that to my sisters, we are hoping to go to paris in the spring (why do i feel like there is a song in there). my sister is battling cancer and one of the things she wants most to do, is go to paris with her 2 sisters! here's hoping we can even take use of these bikes with her!

10-27-2007, 04:06 PM
I tried to use them this summer. You have to use the kiosks for anything less than a year subscription (which can be done online). We just wanted a day pass, and the machines wouldn't take our American credit or debit cards. You have to use a card so they can charge you for overages and whatnot. LAME. We were so jealous of all the people out on bikes. Sigh.

10-27-2007, 04:53 PM
I heard the first 30 minutes were free.

I'm sure you have to swipe a card first, though. When they showed them on the news, the racks were utterly full. There were bikes being ridden on the streets, but not the rental bikes.


11-19-2007, 11:08 AM
The first 30 min are free. If you don't have a year subscription, you have to swipe your card so that it can charge you if you go over and/or never return the bike. That part didn't work for us.

There were tons of them being ridden on the street this summer. Sometimes, it was hard to find any on the racks!