Velib - largest public bike rental fleet in Paris, France

Submitted by Jeff Buster on Sat, 07/16/2011 - 14:40.

has over 20,000 bikes in its rental fleet in Paris.  Read about Velib on wikipedia - this system is worth studying for many reasons, reasons besides transportation. Because the system is so large, problems show up fast.   For example, rental stations at higher elevations around Paris are depleted of bikes because it is easier to ride downhill, and then leave the rental bike at a lower elevation and use another form of transport back up to the higher elevation.   So the system is changing pricing in order to incentivize riders to return bikes to the higher elevation stations.  

Vandalism has also been a big problem – sociologists believe that the bikes are seen by the poor as being the fashion of the privileged bo-bos or 'bourgeois-bohemians' – stirring up class resentments which are taken out on the inanimate bikes.
GIS technology, computers, RFID technology and public awareness/advertizing will eventually allow this type of system to be fine tuned and fine tuned until the system plateaus near its maximum usefulness and efficiency.   



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