In the first week of a rental program, officials report 45,000 rides and counting.
By Marjorie Miller, Times Staff Writer
July 22, 2007
PARIS - The Tour de France hasn't arrived yet, but the bicycles have. Paris is awash in two-wheelers, thousands of taupe bicycles that are part of a plan by City Hall to get people out of their cars and onto more eco-friendly transportation.
The bicycle rental service still has some kinks to work out, but the first week of the Velib program was a big hit with Parisians. City Hall reported 45,000 rentals a day and counting.
"It's superb," said IT engineer Olivier Lemaitre, 35, who rode a bike from Les Invalides on the left bank of the Seine to La Madeleine on the right. "I used to come by Metro, but it's better to be outside."
"It's healthier and the weather is beautiful," science writer Sophie Antoine, 29, said, taking her purse out of the metal basket on the front of the bike.