Velociraptors bring down Paris shared bike program

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Velib & other Paris.jpg

Vélib docking stations in Paris (2007); Pronto docking station in Belltown (2014), since removed.

No, no, not the "real" velociraptors, but Vélib, the shared bicycle program:
vélo, bike + liberté, freedom, that started in Paris back in 2007. Grew to 15,000 bikes and 1,200 docking stations around the City of Light. For its first decade, the program was run by JC Decaux, an advertising company. Then the contract was put up for bid again and the winning bidder this time was Smovengo, an ambitious startup that (among other things) wanted to add battery-powered eBikes to its offerings.

Say what you will about Seattle's mixed history with bike-share programs; Paris seems to have completely screwed this up. The original Vélib program was successful: close to 100,000 riders a day. Sure, JC Decaux made money selling ads on the docking stations (and on the public toilets it also operates). But the new guys went about the eBike project all wrong, literally getting their wires crossed, failing to maintain the equipment, and alienating their employees, The result: on any given day, only half the bikes are in working order, and the entire staff is on strike.

There's more here.

And it was just this week that we reported on a new entry in the dock-less power-assisted bicycle sweepstakes right here in Seattle.

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This page contains a single entry by Cornichon published on May 11, 2018 12:00 PM.

Too many hills in Seattle? eBikes may be the answer was the previous entry in this blog.

Scott Carsberg will revive Bisato in Pioneer Square is the next entry in this blog.

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