'I think there is a good future for this type of system...'
October 8, 2007 8:01 PM Subscribe
posted by ardgedee (17 comments total)
2 users marked this as a favorite
A new generation of bike rental is here, where you pick up the bike where you start your ride and drop it off at the destination. Vélib'
are the high-profile, wildly successful products of the JCDecaux ad firm in the cities of Paris and Grand Lyon. Velib' provides 10,000 bikes
for cheap hourly rental
beginning this past summer. In exchange for fully underwriting the €90 million of expenses, JCDecaux wins exclusive rights to all the city's billboards. JCDecaux' rival Clear Channel
beat them out of the gate by a couple months, opening Bicing
in Barcelona to similar success, although at a smaller scale.
These are far from the first bike shares. JCDecaux
has older programs in Austria and Spain and Clear Channel started theirs in Stockholm and Oslo - but this may be the newest and biggest version of an idea that dates back decades
. The successful operations require not only a well-designed urban program but also the massive cash outlay that only freewheeling multinationals can provide, for better or worse. The U.S. might not be completely left behind: San Francisco may sign with Clear Channel
and Chicago's rumored to be talking with JCDecaux.