Paris Embraces New Bike Rental Program

<p>To reduce traffic congestion and parking shortage, Paris launched a bike rental program similar to one implemented in other European cities. After its first week, an average of 45,000 bikes have been rented every day.</p>
July 23, 2007, 2pm PDT | Abhijeet Chavan
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Mayor Bertrand Delanoe launched the program to alleviate traffic jams and parking problems. The city has placed more than 10,000 bicycles at about 300 stations around the capital. Riders can buy an annual pass for 29 euros (about $40) or pay a euro on the spot to use a bike for half an hour, which is long enough to get almost anywhere in central Paris and park at another station...Le Figaro newspaper has been a bit snippy about the enterprise, which is new to Paris but ongoing in cities such as Barcelona, Spain; Geneva; Stockholm; and Vienna. In an editorial, the paper said it would take more than bicycles to solve Paris' traffic and pollution problems...So far, none of the bicycles has been stolen, according to a City Hall spokeswoman. Bike riders find that amazing - and one of the benefits of renting.

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Published on Sunday, July 22, 2007 in The Los Angeles Times
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