Friday, September 28, 2007

Velib to go international

After all, it does not matter that much anymore if taxis go on strike in Paris now that we have the Velib! Velib is still a huge success - a little too much, as sometimes it's hard to finD one. Not only did the the company that makes them (JC Decaux) win a prize recently for the design of the bikes, but they're also selling them like hot cakes all over the world! I hear that Chicago might soon fall for them too. What is it with the French and their transportation systems (bullet train, Metro, Velib...)!


  1. Bonjour:

    Oui, it is true, our Mayor, Richard Daley, after his recent visit to Paris, upon returning, is very impressed with your Velib system. He was even featured on the front page of the Trib riding one the Velib bikes. (He is an avid biker.)
    He has a great track record for promoting biking here. He has put restricted bike lanes on many of our streets, making it easier to transverse the city. This has encouraged biking to work and accomplishing errands. There has been a great increase in the use of the bike.
    You can put your own bike on the front of most buses. You can take your bike on the metro in none rush hour periods.
    There will shortly be much more since the CTA is going to cut back on our metro service and increase the cost.
    Chicago recently was chosen as the most bike friendly town in the US. That even beat out Seattle. Chicago has a fantastic 30 mile bike path along the entire length of the lake front. It is being repaved as I write this in the sections that need it.
    Steve in fallish Edgewater, two blocks from the bike path!

  2. Bonjour, again!
    This photo, with its yellowish tinge looks like Eric found it in a bin of old photos from pre- or during world war II at a flea market! The clothing, particularly the shoes.

  3. French transportation rulez!
    Vive le velib!
    Two things I wish to see also in Athens. The Paris underground parkings and the velib system.

  4. Steverino

    Do let me know when you hear of someplace in Chicago selling these. I want one - just as soon as I get my Smart Car, that is!!! (I'm thinking lime green with a sun roof...) Maybe I could put a bike rack on a Smart Car and be set for any adventure.

  5. What a beautiful picture, Eric - so distinctly Paris!

  6. salut eric, ça fait longtemps que je t'ai laissé un commentaire, mais je suis un lecteur toujours fidèle. :)

    C'est interessant que tu mentionnnes le vélib aujourd'hui puisqu'un autre bloggeur (j'imagine que l'académie adore ce mot ;) ) l'a mentionné dans son blog (lien: ) mais je ne crois pas qu'il est tout à fait d'accord avec ce nouveau système de transports. Ca vaut la peine de le lire, à mon avis....

    Moi, j'en sais rien. Je ne suis pas revenu à Paris depuis qu'ils ont installé les vélibs (ça se dit au pluriel comme ça?). Mais j'imagine que c'est une bonne idée...mais je sais pas si ca va durer...(peut-etre suis-je un peu trop pessimiste? lol)

    Bref, merci quand-meme pour ta fidelité des photos parisiennes. C'est vraiment un plaisir quotidien.


  7. In theory, I'm all for it, I mean, it's a great idea! But those hills in San Francisco, jeez, I don't know ... pffff...

  8. Here's an informative article relating to this post and shows the Chicago Mayor testing out a Velib.

    I also read earlier this morning BV's article Matteo is referring to, and it is hilarious. He is not won over...yet. :)

  9. Too many steep hills in SF, not to mention the chance of being blown off of the Golden Gate Bridge...LOL!!

    I love, love, love this photo Eric!! Perhaps it will be a new favorite! Merci! ;-)

  10. I'm ready to start importing these babies as a fashion item.

  11. We should transplant Velib in NYC! Just for a day! Just for fun!

    JC Decaux is a Belgian company headquarted very near to my hometown. They make those "abribus", advertising boards in airports and such. And now thanks to you, i am learning about Velib. It always makes me happy when the little Belgians do something right. :)

  12. not quite sure why, but I really love this photo -- black and white, complex textures (gate vertical lines, cobblestone pattern, horizontal lines on buildings)yet relatively simple composition, two opposing trajectories of motion -- I'm not great at analysing it, but it's one of my favourites

  13. Bonjour Eric,

    This is a nice composition. I like the nostalgic feel to it.

    Anyway, nobody cycles in Singapore. Absolutely nobody. Let me correct myself: those who do cycle are the migrant workers in the construction industry (mostly from China and Bangladesh). They are road horrors! They will swerve onto the road and onto the pedestrian sidewalk whenever they feel like it. Without ringing the bell, they will zip past you suddenly.

    Singapore is a small country highly unsuitable for bicyclists because of the road system. It's built mainly for motor vehicles and the roads are very bicycle-unfriendly. We have lots to learn from France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

    Voici mon photo blog:

  14. Eliane,

    sorry to disappoint you, but JC Decaux is not Belgian, but totally French. They may have a subsidiary in Belgium, as in many countries, but company headquarters are in Neuilly-sur-Seine.

    Eric : among the French triumphs in transportation, you failed to mention the...Concorde !

  15. Funny you should post this story and the taxi one right after the other. When returning from the airport last night in a taxi, we witnessed a "battle" between a scooter and a Velib rider trying to weave between the stopped traffic. The taxi driver was half laughing half screaming. I think the scooter riders now have competition for that little bit of space between the cars, and I can tell you, the taxi drivers don't like any of them! Great shot Eric.

  16. Hi Eric! It's funny, you wrote on your last posting: "Velib is still a huge success - a little too much, as sometimes it's hard to fin one."

    And by coincidence my latest post is a poor Parisian girl waiting (in vain) for someone to turn up and give their bike back!

    We're on the same wavelength today!

  17. Eric,

    Pretty nice picture, as usual on PDP.
    However, it seems that this bike is not a Velib', is it ?

    I'm a Velib' user, every now and then, and I must admit biking in Paris is great... though sometimes scary !!

  18. You can find all the free velibs you want today, because such a heavy rain is pouring ;o))))

    They were right promoting the system during summertime. Let's see how many go on biking in the rainy days...

    Nice photo, as usual here, thanks

  19. We need the Velibs in Melbourne!!

    Slowly but surely we're becoming a civilised, bike-friendly city...

  20. deepbluesea,

    I agree! We definitely need them in Melbourne! Just wondering if you had any thoughts on how that could work...?