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Vélib

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by John the Monkey, 17 Dec 2007.

  1. John the Monkey

    John the Monkey Frivolous Cyclist

    Location:
    Crewe
    An interesting piece on Paris' shared bike scheme, the Vélib.

    I do wonder about bike hire schemes. I'm not sure if it's because I *like* my own bike, and would prefer to ride that, thangewberymuch, or the feeling that it's another way for municipalities/governments to avoid the awkward question of how the multimode traveller gets their gear to the city in the first place, but my feelings are mixed.
     
  2. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Location:
    York, UK
    A lot of people live in cities you know - I mean the centre of them, not just in suburbia... I gather that a higher proportion of people live in the centres of European cities than over here in the UK, so it's probably not a question of how you get to a city, you're already there. And what sort of gear? A handbag and a shopping bag? A briefcase? Hardly difficult to get on the metro. Hire bikes obviously aren't aimed at stopping tourists with suitcases flying in, but at people wanting an everyday way to get across town...
     
  3. Maz

    Maz Guru

    I read in The Cambridge News that their council was thinking of introducing a similar scheme. The last time they tried it (20 years ago?) most of the bikes got nicked on the first day.

    So much for relying on people's good nature to return bikes to the drop-off zones...
     
  4. OP
    OP
    John the Monkey

    John the Monkey Frivolous Cyclist

    Location:
    Crewe
    I think it's true in British cities of a certain strata of urban professional, but I don't know many people on my wage who could afford to live in the centre of Manchester, or at least not somewhere with room for the missus and the nippers too xx(
    That's my poor phrasing, what I mean is my (full size) bike and work stuff.
    Which is grand - I guess it's the demographic that would use a folder in British cities. My thinking is along the lines of having a bike already, and seeing part of the transport solution as being getting *that* to the city and using it, rather than paying yet more money for a folder or a hire bike.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    John the Monkey

    John the Monkey Frivolous Cyclist

    Location:
    Crewe
    The Vélib gets around that by taking credit card details to release the bike - if you don't return it (or it's returned damaged) a hefty bill is the result...
     
  6. Maz

    Maz Guru

    That's right. So will the new Cambridge scheme (if it is realised). I think their old scheme was planned whilst wearing rose-tinted glasses.
     
  7. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Location:
    York, UK
    oooh, I'm a certain strata then, since I live pretty much as near to the middle of York as it's possible to be! Despite being a student on no wage at all at the moment... (But then I do live in a one-room-plus-bathroom bedsit).


    Your point about having a bike already, well yes, why would you need to hire, obviously, this sort of scheme isn't aimed at you, or anyone who already rides their own bike in town. But if you are visiting, or at work and need to pop across town, it makes perfect sense, and is better than clogging the streets up with taxis...
     
  8. GrahamG

    GrahamG Über Member

    Location:
    Bristol
    Paris has a much higher population density than even London - far more people live within cities in europe compared to here.
     
  9. HJ

    HJ Cycling in Scotland

    Location:
    Auld Reekie
    You are talking about England as if it was the UK, it is not, Scottish Cities are the same as the rest of Europe in that people choose to live in the city centres rather that the outer suburbs...
     
  10. HJ

    HJ Cycling in Scotland

    Location:
    Auld Reekie
    That says more about the people of Cambridge than anything else:tongue:
     
  11. gavintc

    gavintc Guru

    Location:
    Southsea
    I completely agree. The Scots have maintained their city centres. Flat living in the city centre is desirable. But equally, there will low cost flats close to the city centre. I find the English model interesting and a waste of space - everyone having their own front door and piece of garden. Certainly for me, a bike or on foot is the best way to get around the city centre.
     
  12. neslon

    neslon Well-Known Member

    Location:
    The Toon
    Quite right Wor Jock. But he wasn't talking about England, but the SOUTH of england. I live a few minutes walk from the centre of Newcastle, as do thoosands of others. Mind you, I'm not sure we count as English.
     
  13. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Location:
    York, UK
    Apologies. I didn't realise the pattern of habitation was so different, never having lived in Scotland...:wacko:

    Ahem. She. OK, OK, I've never lived in Newcastle either... As for whether you are English, based on a couple of Geordies I know, you certainly don't speak the lingo in a form I understand...:evil:

    (Please note, I like the Geordie accent very much, and have some very good friends from the area, this is entirely an affectionate comment)
     
  14. PrettyboyTim

    PrettyboyTim New Member

    Location:
    Brighton
    I'm not sure where this idea that nobody lives in the centre of southern cities comes from - London for instance has a population density that is twice Newcastle's (45 people per hectare vs 22). That just wouldn't be possible if all Londoners were living in spacious suburban bliss on the outsides of the city.
     
  15. buggi

    buggi Bird Saviour

    Location:
    Solihull
    the thing about the paris bikes are they are so ugly no one wants to nick them :smile:

    it wouldn't work in England... it rains too much.