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Paris Set for Invasion of Self-Service Bicycles

Paris is bracing for a transport revolution later this year with the arrival of more than 20,000 self-service bicycles thanks to a deal between city hall and one of the world's leading suppliers of urban advertising. A contract signed Monday with JCDecaux gives the French firm access to more than 1,600 hoardings and other publicity sites, but also requires it to provide a mass system of cheap cycles-for-hire.

By the end of the year JCDecaux has undertaken to set up 1,451 stations, where customers can use swipe-cards to rent some 20,600 cycles for journeys around the capital. The bikes can be deposited at any station, and then picked up by new users.

A similar system has been run by JCDecaux since 2005 in the southeastern city of Lyon, where city authorities have hailed it as a major success in the campaign to reduce motor transport. France's second largest city Lyon adopted the system in May 2005. It has been a huge success, with people combining cycles and other modes of transport to reach work or leisure destinations.
  • 2,000 bicycles and 175 pick up/drop off ranks installed
  • Up to 16,000 rentals per day
  • Each bicycle used by up to 15 people each day
  • Average journey time is 17 minutes and 1.7 miles in distance
  • In 10 months users cycled 2.5 million miles - the same as travelling from the Earth to the Moon ten times.

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