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You'll Look Sweet Upon the Seat of a Rental Bike

By Alicia Dorr in Miscellaneous on Sep 5, 2007 6:07PM

We noticed a short Fran Spielman piece today reminding us about Daley's globe-trotting and found something we didn't expect — bikes!

velib.jpgWhen we first read about Paris's new bicycle initiative, Velib, we salivated. The city peppered the city with more than 20,000 heavy-duty rental bikes in an effort to become a city of bikes.

The program almost seems too good to be true. The bikes can be rented from 750 stations throughout the city, free for the first 30 minutes, something like a $1.30 for the next quarter hour and so on. Regular users can get a yearly membership for dirt cheap (about $40) — and this is the part of the story that made us pee our pants a little with glee — the rentals can be made from the same card one uses for the public transit.

Daley will talk the plan over with the mayor of Paris on his way back from giving a speech in Italy. The plan evidently caught our own "city of bikes" mayor's eye because of the flexibility. You can also rent a bike from one location and return it to another for no extra fee. We feel like little kids asking for something outrageous for Christmas, but — pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease can we have this program? There is no danger of us shooting our eyes out, we promise.

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