Monday, July 18, 2011

Velib Celebrates 100 million trips

Translating from a City of Paris press release:

In Paris, where we celebrated the 100 millionth Velib trip since July 2007, the popularity of the service hasn't diminished. There are 170 thousand subscribers and almost 100 thousand rentals a day at the 1700 stations that cover the capital. According to JC Decaux, the service has seen "a massive increase in recent months" thanks to a cloudless spring.

The city and its concessionaire share other satisfactions: a net reduction in vandalism. Shortly after the launch of the service, stupified users deplored the impressive number of bikes with flats, twitsted, stolen or broken. According to JC Decaux, the vandalism was reduced by 2/3 between 2009 and 2010. Is the anti-Velib violence no longer in fashion? "Shared bikes have arrived as part of the urban landscape" says M. Asseraf. Mme Lepetit prefers to see the change as the result of "public ad campaigns emphasizing civic spirit and responsibility."

All the stations haven't benefited from this enlightenment, as the residents of Barbes (18th arrondissement) or in proximity of the beltway can attest, but the city refuses to release the vandalism statistics by neighborhood "because this will stigmatize" explains the mayor.

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