Paris on a Bike

Going to Paris? Want to nip around the city on wheels? Try Velib.

On 15th July Paris launched its new bike ‘transit system’ committing itself to an expanding service for Parisians and visitors.

The idea is fiendishly simple – they have installed over 10,000 bikes in 740 locations round Paris. You buy a one day ‘access card’ for €1.00, place it into any of the bike stations and it will ‘unlock’ the bike so you can ride around to your hearts content.

The first half an hour is free and after that there is a sliding scale of charges: an additional half hour will cost you an extra Euro, the next 30 minuted cost €2.00 and each additional 30 mins is €4.00. Clearly they want you to use the system for short(ish) journeys rather than monopolising a bike for the entire day.

Using this pricing system a 25 minute trip will cost you nothing, 50 minutes in the saddle will cost 1 Euro and an hour and a quarter comes in at 3 Euros.

You can ‘drop off’ you bike at any other bike park so you don’t have to return to your original starting point. Weekly and annual cards are available and, by the end of the year, Paris plans to have 1,451 bike stations (that will be about every 900 feet round the city!) and a total of 20,600 bikes.

If you are worried about launching yourself into the Parisian traffic on a bike – they have over 230 miles of cycling lanes.

More details on their website: