Thursday, February 14, 2008

Cycle Paris

Sorry. It's been a month. Work, travel, family and all that.

Anyway, was in Europe last week and saw the new Velib cycle system. It's a new self-service "bicycle transit system". And it's very cool.

You buy a smart card, turn up at one of the Velib stations ...

put your smart card on one of these readers ...

and borrow a bike.

Once you are done, you deposit it back at a station and pick another bike up when you need to go somewhere else. It's a fantastic urban transportation solution. The bikes look cool, comfortable and have a practical basket for luggin stuff around.

The only potential downside is that you might get to a station and find there are no available bikes. But they seem to be so frequent, you are never going to be more than a short walk away. You can also lock it up to keep it 'yours' but that then starts to cost you more.

I love that this encourages people out of their cars and enables people to enjoy the city around them. At night I should also think it is a great option for those who feel unsafe or insecure using the metro system.

All round brilliant.

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