Paris and its regional state transport agency Ile-de-France Mobilités has announced that it is to launch a 10,000-strong e-bike fleet for a new long-term rental scheme.
The scheme, called ‘Veligo’, represents a state-funded concerted effort to target commuters that might be using more polluting transport to get around the city. Currently, statistics say that only 1.6% of local trips in the city are carried out on an e-bike.
Central Paris already runs the short-term ‘Velib’ e-bike hire scheme, but has reportedly been experiencing difficulties since its operators changed earlier in 2018.
Veligo is set to be different because instead of being rented on an hourly basis and restricted to redocking in fixed stations around the city like Velib, it will allow renters to keep hold of the bike for a periods of a month or more around the wider region, with the €40-per-month charge partially subsidised by employers if they buy into the scheme.
The new scheme has been a project for Valerie Pecresse, the head of the Ile-de-France region, who said: “Electric bicycles have an enormous potential. They are an efficient and ecological way to get to the railway station for short commutes that can replace the car.”
Political manoeuvrings aside, she also explains that the scheme has the potential to encourage renters to invest in their own e-bike, while there are also plans in the works to introduce an additional 10,000 e-bikes should it prove a success, which would see Veligo become the largest e-bike rental scheme in the world.