Paris mulls bike rentals to free clogged streets

16th September 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Sept 15 (AFP) - Paris is considering a system of cheap bicycle rentals in a bid to ease car traffic on its increasingly congested streets and promote environmentally friendly transport, officials said Thursday.

PARIS, Sept 15 (AFP) - Paris is considering a system of cheap bicycle rentals in a bid to ease car traffic on its increasingly congested streets and promote environmentally friendly transport, officials said Thursday.

Areas would be set up in the city's 350 metro stations where people could rent a bike for 50 centimes to one euro per hour, with the first 30 minutes being free. A credit card swipe would be used as security.

The initiative would use a similar system started in the eastern city of Lyon as a model. There, 1,000 bikes can be hired for up to 24 hours.

The head of French bicycle association le Club des Villes Cyclables, Véronique Michaud, said the Lyon experience has proved a success with an average 10,300 rentals being made each day last month.

Denis Baupin, a deputy Paris mayor and Green party member who has spearheaded other anti-car initiatives, said the French capital was "looking at the legal and technical aspects" involved with a view to calling for tenders to have the system operational in 2007.

Paris has become increasingly unfriendly to cars in recent years, with Baupin and other members of City Hall ordering main roads be narrowed to increase space for buses, bicycles and taxis, and getting rid of thousands of parking spaces.

The result has been interminable traffic jams in the lanes left open, and a boom in bicycle and motor scooter sales.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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