How long has Vélo'v been operating?
Lyon is the pioneer when it comes to public cycle hire services. We introduced this system in 2005 before all of the other French cities. We were inspired by the trials carried out in Vienna in Austria and Oslo in Norway, and we adopted and adapted these for Lyon. Our network boasts twice as many bicycles as Oslo and twice as many pickup and drop-off points as Vienna, to ensure effective coverage of the region and make this a real local service. We also took the decision to use real, well-equipped bicycles with gears, high-quality braking systems and effective maintenance. Today this has proved to be a great success with 4000 vélo'v's currently in circulation in Lyon and Villeurbanne, and between 20 and 25,000 trips made each day.
So how does the system work?
It's a one-way process: the user picks up his bicycle at the nearest pickup point to his point of departure and drops it off at the one nearest his destination. The system is very practical because we have installed a large number of vélo'v pickup and drop-off points in Lyon. To use the service, you need to be in possession of an annual card which costs €15 or buy a day pass at a cost of €1 or a weekly pass at €3. In all cases, the first half-hour of your journey is free.
So why take the Vélo'v to explore the city?
Firstly, since this system was introduced Lyon and the greater Lyon area have created a network with a huge amount of cycle lanes and cycle trails making criss-crossing the city by bike an enjoyable and simple experience. The landscaping of the banks of the river Rhône and soon the Saône embankments has changed the face of the city and increased the use of motorless transport. What's more, we have doubled cycle traffic since the arrival of the vélo'v system despite the fact that the vélo'v bikes account for just a quarter of traffic!
Today, exploring Lyon by bicycle is an extremely pleasant experience. This is a modestly sized city and exploring it by bike gives you a chance to see everything around you, taking the time to really experience Lyon's unique atmosphere and energy.