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15 Jul, 2007 17:49

Paris launches new rent-a-bike service

One of the world's most fashionable cities, Paris, hopes to launch a new trend – public bicycles. A new rent-a-bike service has been unveiled in the French capital. It is hoped it will encourage people to leave their cars at home and avoid crow

More than 10,000 bicycles have been posted all across Paris at 750 docking stations as part of a move to make the city greener.

Organisers say the new bike service is aimed at tourists and at Parisians.

“The idea is that people will rent the bikes for a short time just to go shopping, to work or go home after the cinema, for example,” said Leah Marzloff, JC Deceaux company organiser.

When you’re finished with the bike you return it to one of the docking stations. If you fail to bring it back 150 euros is taken off your credit card.

The bikes weigh about 22 KG and they are rather utilitarian looking, but they’re cheap and cheerful.

“People will be able to leave their cars at home; cars take up too much space. With bike stations every 300 metres people will be able to get around much more easily,” said Giles Michel, a bicycle fan.
Not everyone is happy about the arrival of thousands more bicycles.

“Cyclists run red lights they go the wrong way down the road they don’t respect pedestrians they don’t respect drivers they’re really annoying,” noted Mohammed Lemale, a taxi driver.