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Vélib' Self-Service Bicycle Scheme In Paris

We all know that any large city can become exceedingly congested with the amount of traffic from people just trying to get to work, yet alone the impact tourism has on a popular city as well.

Obviously, there are the usual public transport options available that do not include your own car, such as bus services, trains and the underground metro, which are a great way to get around and not have to worry about where you are going to park, but they also become very crowded and as any major city in the world very busy around rush hour.

Velib Self-Service

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Vélib' Self-Service Bicycle Scheme In Paris

With pollution, global warming and other environmental issues being at the forefront of most topics raised in virtually every developed country, many cities are striving to come up with other options of transport to ease congestion and make the people more environmentally aware.

The City of Paris is no exception, but in order to improve this they have come up with a bicycle scheme called the Vélib' Self-Service Bicycle Scheme, and thousands of people are now using this service every day, which is also a great way for tourists to see the famous monuments.

This two-wheeled revolution was only started in 2007 with its aim of reducing all the problems highlighted, plus get the population fitter as a result and this scheme has become a resounding success.

The Vélib' self service cycles can be rented for as long as you need them, whether it is for a quick ride from one arrondissement of Paris to the next, or if you want to rent one for five days you have the choice and the bicycles can be picked up and dropped off as you need at any of the hundreds of Vélib' stations across the capital.

You do have to be over the age of fourteen in order to take advantage of this service and you would also need to set up an account.  You can fill out the forms at post offices, metro stations, and any places such as the tobac that have the Vélib' logo or you can register at their website and once this is set up you have access to these cycles 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you are going to be spending a long time in Paris then you can choose an annual subscription and once approved, your Vélib' Card will be sent to you within around fifteen days and for a Long Term Subscriber the cost for journey will be debited from your Vélib' account.

A Short Term subscription is also available for one day or seven days.  This is able to be purchased via the website or from any of the Vélib' Service Points and the costs will be charged to your bank account together with your short-term subscription fee of only around five Euros.

However, you may be pleased to know that the first 30 minutes of every journey are completely free of charge.  There are thousands of bikes that can be picked up and dropped off at any station and you are never more than 300 metres from the next Vélib' point and after the first half hour, the rates start at just one Euro.

There are service points with maintenance and repair stations to ensure that all the cycles are in perfect working order and they are suitable for both men and women.  For maximum safety there is a rapid gear change system, which ensures that the bikes can never come out of gear and the breaks are integrated into the wheels hubs.  The minute you start using your cycle, the lights will automatically come on and the back light stays on for an additional two minutes even after you have stopped.  Obviously the saddle can be adjusted in height to suit the individual, there are reflective strips on the wheels and there is a front basket on each bike as well.

An innovative idea that is run by the company JCDecaux, this scheme has taken Paris by storm and what a great way to explore Paris and keep fit at the same time, especially when you consider that the city now has well over 370km of cycling lanes.

Vélib' Self-Service Bicycle Scheme

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