July 17th, 2007

buzzed, B&W

Bike Rental

So Paris has set up a program for renting bicycles, similiar to Zipcar or Flexcar (which both tout themselves as car sharing programs, rather than rental programs).

It's interesting in that the program seems designed to encourage commuting. A one-day pass is $1.38 or 1 euro, but there are additional charges if you ride longer than a half-hour. Using google to translate the french site, the costs can get pretty expensive if you keep the bike for extended periods of time. 1 euro for the 1st additional half hour, 2 euros for the 2nd additional half hour, and 4 euros for each half hour past then. So, a 4 hour ride would be 23 euros (the first half hour is free, 30-60 minutes is 1, 60 to 90 is 2, and from 90 to 360 minutes would be 20 euros). That translates to over $30.

Seems like a pretty neat program, and the nominal cost ($40 or 29 euros for a years subscription) seems like it would avoid some of the problems that other community bicycle programs experience. Stations every 300 meters probably help as well, as the convenience factor is huge.