Tuesday, September 04, 2007

bike service in Toulouse

Toulouse is joining a bunch of other European cities in adopting self-service bike program.

The Vélib program began in Paris back in July and has achieved great success. Says Angelique Chrisafis in the Guardian:
So huge is the success of the Vélib' that Paris is proclaiming a veritable "vélorution", reclaiming the streets for two-wheelers. This is not the first scheme to provide bikes for cheap short-hires - Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Oslo got there first, and Lyon was the pioneer in France - but Paris aims to be the biggest. More than 1.6m hires have been registered in the first month from the 800 bike stands around the city. Currently 10,600 bikes are in circulation, but by the end of the year that will double. The unisex bikes are provided by the poster advertising company JCDecaux to Paris city hall in return for ad space in the city, so at no cost to the taxpayer. It's a political triumph for Paris's socialist mayor, Bertrand Delanoë, and his opposite number Ken Livingstone is so impressed that he has ordered a consultation on bringing the scheme to London.
The Toulouse program will mimic the one in Paris. Here's an edited rough translation from the JCDecaux press release:
JCDecaux gagne le contrat des vélos en libre service de Toulouse

JCDecaux wins contract for self-service bicycles in Toulouse

Paris, September 3, 2007 - JCDecaux SA has won a contract for self-service bicyles in the town of Toulouse (390,350 inhabitants) for 15 years duration.

This contract includes a first phase of 135 stations and 1,470 bicycles then a possible 3 additional phases which would carry the whole to 253 stations and 2,400 bicycles. Advertising billboards will cover part of the financing of the contract, another part covered by earnings the city makes from payments by bike renters.
Regarding the Paris system, Patrick, the author of Ma Ville en Vélo says some of the Vélib stations will provide free Mobiguides (district guides that can be downloaded to mobile phones). He says: "One will find in these Mobiguides local information like the locations of Vélib stations, taxi stands, free Wi-Fi hot spots, as well as municipal maps, emergency numbers, and the district's calendar of current events."

Patrick's site offers some videos including these two:

Vélocité! Paris
Une ballade à vélo dans Paris

Manifestation Cyclo-nudiste

{Happy Vélib riders in Paris (flickr photo)}

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