And just in case you may not happen to know . . . back in early 2005, the City of Lyon, in close partnership with the firm JCDecaux (street furniture, outdoor advertising) , got together in a lively partnership and for the first time ever in a city anywhere on the planet decided to dump a couple of thousand “public bikes” onto the streets of a city, keep them working and see what happens. And they never looked back.
Today more than a decade later if you visit Lyon you will find some three thousand Vélo’v bikes available for your use (soon to be up to four thousand) , salted around the city at some 350 stations (soon 400), within at most a five minute stroll from wherever you happened to find yourself.
Now, thirteen long years later, it works better than ever. In 2017 there were nearly 25000 daily rentals, more than 8 million trips in the year and 68,500 long-term subscribers. The price: for unlimited use of tis close to zero carbon way of getting where you want to go in the city: a wallet-flattening 19 Euros a year.
Thank you Lyon and JCDecaux for thinking about us ordinary people in our day to day lives, daring to think big, take a big risk and then making it happen.
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Here are a couple of key information sources if you want to know more:
- Vélo’v: The City of Lyon – https://velov.grandlyon.com/home
- Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V%C3%A9lo%27v
- Vélo’v Next Steps (in French): https://www.le-tout-lyon.fr/nouvelle-offre-velo-v-jcdecaux-devoile-les-contours-de-l-operation-9305.html
- World Bike Share Map – bikesharingmap.com
- World Streets on City Cycling – https://worldstreets.wordpress.com/tag/city-cycling/
- World Streets on Public Bicycles – https://worldstreets.wordpress.com/tag/public-bicycles/
- The good, the bad and the awful news on public bikes around the world – https://bit.ly/2yCUWML
Have anything at hand that you think should be added to this short list? Get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org
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About the editor:
9, rue Gabillot, 69003 Lyon France
Bio: Educated as an international development economist, Eric Britton is an American political scientist, teacher and sustainability activist who has worked on missions and advisory assignments on all continents. Professor of Sustainable Development, Economy and Democracy at the Institut Supérieur de Gestion (Paris), he is also MD of EcoPlan Association, an independent advisory network providing strategic counsel for government and business on policy and decision issues involving complex systems, social-technical change, civil society and sustainable development. Founding editor of World Streets: The Politics of Transport in Cities | See Britton online at https://goo.gl/9CJXTh and @ericbritton