Bicycle change network, Lyon
To reduce urban car traffic, Lyon introduced the Vélo’v project which develops bicycle rental stations in various parts of the city. Velo'v provides solid, comfortable bikes that are available to everyone, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They can be found at strategic locations all over Lyon and Villeurbanne, thanks to a dense network of stations located at intervals of 300 m on average.
Vélo'v rental service is run by the city of Lyon in cooperation with the advertising company JCDecaux. The relationship with JCDecaux allows the city to provide services on a cost neutral basis for the city, and at very low cost to users, in return for providing exclusive advertising access on bus shelters. The primary aim is to reduce vehicle traffic within the city. The scheme also aims to reduce pollution, create a convivial atmosphere within the city, and encourages health benefits of increased activity. Its name is a portmanteau of French vélo (bike) and English love. The service started on the 19th of May 2005 and now provides over 3000 bicycles at 350 stations situated in the cities of Lyon and Villeurbanne. The aim is to have stations within 300m of each point in the city. The bicycles can be returned to any other station. Access is via a subscription system in which a card is purchased online or by using an account and a PIN provided at a station.
There are several reasons for implementing bicycle sharing systems. Municipal governments have promoted systems as part of intermodal transportation, allowing people to shift easily from other forms of transport to bicycles. For years community groups have promoted bicycle sharing as an easily accessible alternative to motorized travel, hoping to reduce the carbon footprint of commuting, but also to enable residents to become healthier through exercise. Bicycle sharing systems can be divided into two general categories:
- Community Bike programmes organised mostly by local community groups or non-profit organisations;
- Smart Bike programmes implemented by municipalities or through public-private partnerships.
The system provides free and affordable access to bicycles for short trips in the city, and functions as an alternative to motorised public transport or cars. Thus, it reduces traffic congestion, noise and air-pollution.
The bicycles can be rented up to 24 hours and are available to everyone aged 14 years and older. Additionally, one needs to possess a Carte Vélo'v, (subscription card for the service). Once the journey is completed, the bicycle must be returned to any Vélo'v station. Vélo'v bicycles, along with a lock and basket, contain electronic components which allow the bicycle to be identified by the stations, to calculate the number of kilometres travelled, determine the condition of the bicycles (lights, brakes, dynamo), and to collect detailed statistics about the use of the bicycles.
The June 2006 edition of the Vélo'v newsletter reported that over 22,000 bicycles were rented per day were and 52,000 people subscribed to the service (meaning an increase of 44% in a year, and representing 6,400,000 km).
Citizens of Lyon
Project start date
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