paris has 20,000 bikes at more than 1500 docking stations spread throughout the city and it’s awesome. the bikes are total grocery getters: basket, “girls” frames, a million pounds, 3 speed hubs, giant springy seats, pink and green children’s-style graphics, plastic fairings over the bars and generator lights. they cost 1 euro per day and if you return the bike to a docking station within 30min you aren’t charged anything more. so while exploring paris, we would take out some bikes, ride until we saw something cool, drop off the bikes at a station, and then walk around. it was really convenient and almost perfect. the only snag was when we’d show up somewhere and all of the docking stations were full, then we’d have to go to the next station and hope that there were open spots. i think something like this could work well in large-population, dense cities in the US. i’d love to live in a city that had bike sharing like this. *it seems to be etiquette to rotate the seat backwards at the station if there is a problem with the bike.
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