In three years, 80 million trips have been made on these ubiquitous gray bicycles. The system has grown from around 10,000 bikes at 750 stations to 25,000 bikes at 1,800 stations which service all of Paris and its first ring of suburbs. There are 162,000 yearly subscribers to the system, down from a high of 200,000, but subscriber's usage is up over 11% according to Ville Rail & Transport.
There have been growing pains for the system with some maintenance and shrinkage problems. It is no longer the biggest system in the world, that honor goes to the one in Hangzhou, China which has 50,000 bikes. Yet the system is healthy and brings in money to the operator, JCDecaux, and the City of Paris.
The latest statistic show that it is used by everyone from all walks of life: 48% are women and 52% are men, 16% are under the age of 25 and 8% are over the age of 56, and 10% of all users are students. There are rumors of a 30% price increase for the daily and weekly subscriptions this fall, but the price of the yearly subscription is to remain a reasonable €29 ($36.85 US).
Let's celebrate bike-sharing by watching this video on how Vélib' began: