VÉLIB’ CRISIS IN PARIS: “THE HARDEST IS YET TO COME”

Happier days for Vélib’ in Paris

JCDecaux, which operated the Paris Vélib ‘self-service bicycle service for ten years before losing the market to Smovengo last year, said on March 8 that its successor was not up to the challenge of the delays accumulated in its launch.

The Smovengo consortium chosen last spring by the Autolib ‘Vélib’ Métropole union at the expense of JCDecaux, had promised to install 1,400 new stations (or 20,000 Vélib) by March 31st. According to the latest figures, only 345 stations were in service, making this schedule unreachable. Faced with the controversy and anger of Vélib’ users, the City of Paris announced that it was sending municipal staff to supervise the deployment and work of the provider, a rare decision

Continue reading

TEN GREAT YEARS OF VELIB’ IN PARIS: 2007 – 2017. Introduction and researcher/student quick toolkit:

Vélib’ station in Paris in happier days – 2008

Vélib’ was for ten years an exemplary large-scale public bicycle sharing system in Paris, France. Launched on 15 July 2007, the system encompassed around 14,500 bicycles and 1,230 bicycle stations, conveniently located across Paris and in some surrounding municipalities, with an average daily ridership topping 100,000 in 2017. (Ridership, other key data to be updated.) The name Vélib’ is a portmanteau of the French words vélo (English: “bicycle”) and liberté (“freedom”).

After ten years of sensational performance offering handy and almost free bikes to hundreds of thousands of satisfied Parisians and visitors every day, the project suddenly went terribly wrong as it was preparing to go into a new phase, and has in the last months crashed out of existence. As a result Paris and the world are poorer places

Why did this happen? What are the losses? Were they inevitable? And what are the lessons to be learned? Yes of course in Paris for the future of shared bikes there, but also in towns and cities around the world who might wish to learn these lessons for their own shared bicycle initiatives.

We here at World Streets, who have been following and riding Vélib’s (and Vélo’v’s) literally every day since opening day in Paris on 15 July 2007, have decided to have a look-in on this unexpected story — and in the coming months see what happens if we can share our observations and findings with our international readers and others who may care to drop in here to see if they can find useful information and views on this strange and most unexpected turn of events. Let’s get started.
_______________

Continue reading

What about women as cyclists? Dilatory reflections, notes and world-wide perspectives from Nijmegen ECF 2017

DRAFT FOR PEER REVIEW AND COMMENT

What about women as cyclists at Velo-city 2017?

Benoit Beroud, Mobility Designed for All consultant at Mobiped, attended, the World Cycling Congress, which occurred in Nijmegen (Netherlands) last June. He shares his notes and comments with World Streets after reflection some inspiring thoughts  about women and cycling in their day-to-day lives.

“First impression was given by pictures of the website, program (see above), and flyers of the conference: set of various women cycling. And it is not a misleading advertisement.”

Continue reading

Exhibit A: BAN THE BIKE! HOW CITIES MADE A HUGE MISTAKE IN PROMOTING CYCLING

Safe cycling?

 

“City politicians around the world are in a race to make their cities “bike-friendly.” The more they succeed, the nastier things will get. . .  Cycling lanes consume more space than they free up, add to pollution and drain the public purse”

Mr. Lawrence Solomon, executive director of Urban Renaissance Institute, Source: http://business.financialpost.com/opinion/lawrence-solomon-ban-the-bike-how-cities-made-a-huge-mistake-in-promoting-cycling

Let’s have a look at what Mr. Solomon has to offer when he challenges our thinking on these issues. Your comments as always are more than welcome.

Continue reading