The Zipcar of Bicycles

By Mike Maddaloni on Saturday, July 21, 2007 at 06:18 AM with 3 comments

Photo of Velib servicePSFK recently reported on Velib, a new bike sharing program coming to Paris. The gist of the service is you pay an annual fee, roughly US$75, and you can use a special card to unlock access to a bike for 30-minutes of use, with longer periods available. The Web site is entirely in French, but if you don’t know the language you can see details of the bikes and special stations where the 451 bikes will be available. The service appears to borrow from car sharing services like Zipcar and I-GO.

This is a great idea! Though many people in cities around the world own bikes, they don’t tend to be in the best condition due to heavy usage on the mean streets, and the potential for theft. This service could allow for the casual bike rider to have access on-demand, or encourage others to use one. Not to mention it could free up a little storage space in an inner-city apartment.

Maybe Chicago could be its first US city?

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