Velo'v: Lyon's Rentabike

Pardon, mon Français is a bit rusty, so I’ll defer to the more reliable Guardian newspaper and assume they got the details right. During the past 3 months the French city of Lyon has been experimenting with a bicycle rental program. And I guess you could say it's been a rideaway success. The 1,500 silver and red bikes have 15,000 urbanites signed up, ready to use them. On average, each bike is released from it's computerised stand 6.5 times a day. With a prepaid card you can extract a bike from one of these ‘smart’ racks knowing that it's ready to roll - the rack will only yield a bike if its brakes, tyre pressure, gears and lights have already been digitally checked and approved, and you’ve swiped your prepaid card for access. The cost of the card? A paltry 5 Euro per year ($6 USD), and if your ride is less than half an hour it's free! If all the bicycles are taken from the set of racks, nearest your set-off point, you can ask it where the nearest available bikes are located. Commonsense and technology finally merge - I’m delightfully astounded. And in the next two years they expect to have rolled out a total of 4,000 bicycles. Amazing. Read Jon Henley’s Guardian article here, where he says even the Dutch are impressed, or allez directement à ::Velo’v

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