Trial in smaller city (Lyon) and replication in Paris to develop ideal model
It was only with the introduction of the Velo'v programme in Lyon that the pieces fell into place for a bicycle-rental system. In a short space of time bicycle traffic in the city increased fivefold. Two years later the model was copied in Paris and the Vélib' caught on. The initial 7,000 bicycles and 750 rental stations expanded the following year to 20,600 bikes and 1,450 stations respectively. According to Parisian authorities, there are currently 1,800 stations, no more than 300 metres apart, which are open around the clock.
The Vélib' borrowing model combines aspects of former systems. It is cheap, but not free: a day subscription costs €1.70; a week costs €8; and a subscription for a year costs €29. The first half-hour of riding is free upon subscription, and you are entitled to make an unlimited number of changes – turning in and then checking out a new bike – during the subscription period. If you do not turn in a bike after the first half hour there is, in addition to subscription costs, a fee of €1 for the second half-hour, €2 for the following half-hour and €4 for each additional half hour.