Chicago eyes Paris self-service bike scheme

12th September 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Sept 11, 2007 (AFP) - The United States' third largest city, Chicago, may soon adopt a rent-a-bike scheme similar to the one launched this summer in Paris, mayor Richard M. Daley said during a trip to the French capital Tuesday.

PARIS, Sept 11, 2007 (AFP) - The United States' third largest city, Chicago, may soon adopt a rent-a-bike scheme similar to the one launched this summer in Paris, mayor Richard M. Daley said during a trip to the French capital Tuesday.

The Democrat mayor, himself a cyclist, said he was "greatly impressed" with the Paris network of self-service bicycles, which has clocked up more than 3.7 million rides since its launch in mid-July.

Following talks with his Paris counterpart Bertrand Delanoe, Daley said Chicago may launch a similar system "very shortly", though he said his city of three million people was less "cycle-compatible" than Paris.

He also pointed out that advertising giant JC Decaux, which covers the cost of the Paris venture in exchange for exclusive rights to 1,600 hoardings across the city, already operates a network of billboards in Chicago.

The "Velib" scheme in Paris has 10,000 bicycles at 750 hire points dotted around Paris, with plans for 20,000 bikes at 1,400 hire points by year end.

Riders can pick up a bike at any time of day or night, after lodging a 150-euro safety deposit. The first half hour is free, with prices rising to one euro (1.4 dollars) for every extra half hour.

Paris mayor Delanoe, who announced last week he would stand for re-election next year, also signed a cooperation accord with Daley pledging to swap expertise on public transport and city environmental policy.

AFP

Subject: French news

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