Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Bike Revolution

The Economist has an article on the recent bike revolution taking place in Paris, with moves to other European cities:

The Paris scheme is entirely financed by JCDecaux, which is counting on rental fees and the sale of billboard advertising to cover its running costs and recoup the €90m ($126m) investment required to set it up. (A one-day pass for Vélib' costs €1, a weekly pass costs €5 and an annual subscription costs €29 with no additional charge as long as each ride lasts less than 30 minutes. Users also agree to a €150 security deposit.) The city of Barcelona, by contrast, pays Clear Channel Outdoor to run its “Cyclocity” scheme and pockets the rental fees. It is another success, with a 3,000-strong bike fleet that will increase to 6,000 by March next year. It already has 90,000 registered users who pay a €24 annual subscription.

JCDecaux and Clear Channel Outdoor will continue to compete for new bike schemes as well as contracts for billboards, street furniture (public loos, bus shelters and the like) and transport (advertising in airports and train stations). The French recently won a bike contract in Toulouse, and the American firm will launch a cycling scheme next month in Washington, DC. Both are lobbying hard for the right to set up a scheme in London.

Read in full - 'Vive la Vélorution!'

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