It’s hard to believe that Paris’ hugely successful bike sharing system has been going on for over 10 years now. Though the bikes themselves have seen a few maintenance updates, the infrastructure and usability has largely stayed the same all this time.
Velib today is 17 000 bikes, spread throughout 1 230 stations across Paris and its neighboring cities over 85 000 trips a day over 300 000 members.
What’s great about the bike sharing model here (other than its ubiquitous presence) is its affordability. Yearly membership fees go for 30-45 euros. For a non-member, a daily ticket is 1,70 euros and 8 euros for the week. These prices are subject to increases only if you use the bike for longer than a 30-45mn period.
So what’s happening in 2018? Management is changing hands from JC Decaux to Smoovengo.:
New bikes :
Lighter (20 kilos instead of 22.5 today) and more solid
30% of them will even be electric for those frustrating hills
Equipped with a geolocalization feature which will allow users to track their distances.
An overflow system allowing users to park their bikes at a station that’s already full.
More Stations in the Greater Paris Area : a sign of Paris’ increasing it’s reach outside the Ring Highway called Peripherique which symbolically separates it from its neighboring cities.
Same great price (we hope!).
Until it’s official roll out in January 2018, we’ll have to deal with some closed stations here and there while they are in renovation. Small price to pay for a modernized city bike sharing network. And with new cycling lanes popping out throughout the city, we should expect a lot more ridership!