Parisian Bike Rental Scheme’s Future in Doubt
Theft and vandalism are threatening the success of Paris’s Velib bike rental scheme. Eighteen months into project and over half of the initial 15,000 bikes have vanished. Despite being used over 42 million times, JCDecaux, the company behind the project, is warning the high costs of replacing bikes lost will force them to terminate their initial ten year contract.
Velib Extreme is another force spurring the Velib bike vandalism. The BBC reports:
Various videos have appeared on YouTube showing riders taking the bikes down the steps in Montmartre, into metro stations and being tested on BMX courses.
Remi Pheulpin, JCDecaux’s director general, says the current contract is unsustainable. “It’s simple. All the receipts go to the city. All the expenses are ours,” he said.
The costs, he said, were “so high that a private business cannot handle it alone, espcially as it’s a problem of public order. If we want the velib set-up to keep going, we’ll have to change the business model,” he told Le Parisien newspaper.