Europe: The Price of Success
On April 15th, with the approval of the Parisian City government, a revised rate structure for Vélib' begins with many good additions. The current annual subscription of 29€ ($41.50 US) with the first 30 minutes free each time the bike is used remains the same. A new 39€ ($55 US) subscription with 45 free minutes instead of 30 free minutes will induce suburban users to ride longer to work, school, or even further into the city. There is an advantageous subscription for young people under 26 years of age which gives them 45 minutes free instead of the 30 minutes free, but at the same price of 29€ per year subscription. Also there is a new scholastic tariff for students under 26 years of age which affords them a discount of 10€ off the price of a regular annual subscription. A new "formula touristic" allows people holding a credit card without a "chip" (that is most North Americans) to register online or at certain outlets (hotel, tourist office, etc.) in Paris for the 1-day or 7-day pass. The single 1-day pass is now the same price as a single one-way Paris Metro or bus trip 1.70€. This is excellent pricing for making an effective cost connection between bike-sharing and other forms of public transit. The 7-day pass is 8€ ($11.50US). The Vélib' web site will be more user-friendly making it easier to subscribe for all levels, from daily to annuals, online and for users to find locations to activate memberships and download maps. With almost 100,000,000 Vélib' trips since July 15, 2007 this programs success has been priceless.
North America: Bike-sharing wakes up from a long winter's nap
With in the next week, both Montréal' s bIXI and Minneapolis' Nice Ride will be back on the streets after hibernating for the winter. Nice Ride plans on starting its second season on April 11 with eight new stations in north Minneapolis and plans to have 100 stations this summer to include service in downtown St. Paul. They are offering a great way to shake off the cold Minnesota snow with a special limited time $40 annual subscription sale that is $20 off the regular price . bIXI will open its 400 stations in Montréal on April 15. The last few weeks have seen the stations back in places all over their service area. Five new stations are planned for an expansion of the system into Westmount this season. Les Montréaleurs are ready to roll. Capital Bikeshare, however, has beaten winter by rolling throughout the cold months creating scores of winter weather warriors.
images: Bike-sharing Blog, Nice Ride, and bIXIRussell Meddin bikesharephiladelphia.org