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How do they keep people from simply keeping the bikes? How are these maintained?


Living in Amsterdam, I'm so used to moving about on the bicycle that such systems draw my immediate attention. As a matter of fact, A'dam had its own concept back in the late 60's--bikes without locks in the public domain. What differentiates the Paris model from similar endeavours elsewhere (I've seen them in Copenhagen and Vienna, among others), is (a) the scale, (b) ease-of-use and reliability of payment, and (c) quality of bikes (sturdy, 3 gears, fully inflated tyres, lights, bell, adjustable seat). I thus tried it while in Paris last week, and found it working fantastic. The article here provides very useful background information, indeed, to understand how it works as a business model. Must involve enormous maintenance costs though. Let's hope it's successful and generates enough money so it can be copied elsewhere.

Ben Kraal

JC Decaux are bringing a Velib-like system to Brisbane, Australia.


From what I know, it seems more on the scale of the Vélo'V scheme, about 2000 bikes over 150 stations.

I think it'd be great if was successful. One of the impediments is that it is mandatory for cyclists to wear a helmet here. The pre-launch marketing flyer I have says that they are "currently exploring options" to allow people to hire helmets or to buy them from "approved outlets".

How do you think through the implications of something like mandatory helmet laws on this sort of scheme?

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