Theft and Vandalism Threaten One of World's Largest Bike-Share Systems

With 12,000 docking stations, Paris' expansive Velib system is the envy of cities across the world. But last year it lost 9,000 bikes to theft or vandalism. Its admirable ambition is threatening the functionality of the entire system.
September 27, 2013, 6am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"According to figures unearthed by Le Monde last week, 9,000 bikes from Paris' Vélib' bike-share system were damaged or stolen last year," reports Feargus O’Sullivan. "Even with ongoing repairs and replacements making up some of the shortfall, Paris bike-share numbers have dwindled sharply."" 

"Various reasons have been given for the wave of thefts," he explains. "Some have floated the idea that poor kids are hitting back at what they see as mainly Bobo bike-share users. Others have insisted that teens are simply bent on wanton destruction, while it’s also been noted that a minority of thieves are people stealing bikes to ride home on when they’re drunk."

"Whatever the reasons, the huge losses are causing a rethink of the scheme’s scope."

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Published on Thursday, September 26, 2013 in The Atlantic Cities
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