A new e-bike rental program called Veligo will be launched in the Paris region in September 2019 with 10,000 ebikes by Ile-de-France Mobilités (IDFM), a transport agency. The goal of the program is supporting more commuting by bike because right now less than 2% of day trips in the Ile-de-France, a region that encompasses Paris, use this transportation mode. If more people there begin using the e-bikes, congestion and air pollution will be reduced. (The population of Paris is about 2.2 million, but the Ile de France has over 12 million.)
If the Veligo program is successful with 10,000 e-bikes, another 10,000 might be added, raising the total to 20,000. At this level, it would be the largest e-bike program in the world.
Veligo’s e-bikes will be rentable for just 40 Euros per month, unlike some bike rentals which are hourly. If you are one of the program’s renters, it may also be possible to have half the monthly fee covered by your employer, leaving you with only 20 Euros to pay each month. The program’s budget reaches up to $111 million and it will be operated by Transdev and the postal service.
“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,” said Valerie Pecresse, head of the Ile-de-France region.
Providing e-bikes to the public for a very affordable monthly rate is also a good way to get people riding them. The most enthused of the new riders might decide to buy their own, thus converting some riders to more consistent use of non-fossil fuel personal transportation.
The following video doesn’t show the Veligo e-bikes; it’s of someone riding a VanMoof S2, but it gives you a sense of what it is like to ride an e-bike in Paris.
Mortimer62, Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 2.0