Skip to main content

Paris extends Velib bike hire program to kids

By CNN Staff
June 19, 2014 -- Updated 0101 GMT (0901 HKT)
P'tit Velib cycles are initially available in five locations across Paris.
P'tit Velib cycles are initially available in five locations across Paris.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • P'tit Velib program claims to be the first self-service bike rental scheme aimed at kids
  • Four sizes of cycle aimed at kids as young as two are available for hire
  • Paris hosts one of the world's most successful adult bike hire plans, with more than 20,000 cycles available

(CNN) -- The county that brought us the Tour de France has notched up another cycling landmark -- the world's first self-service city rental bike for kids.

City authorities in Paris have decided that their widely imitated Velib rental bike program is so popular it should be extended to children as young as two.

On Wednesday, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo launched P'tit Velib, which offers four sizes of cycle in five leafy off-road locations across the city.

"Because good habits begin early, the mayor of Paris wishes to familiarize children with using more environmentally friendly modes of transport, and from a young age," the P'tit Velib website says.

Nadhera Beletreche, a spokeswoman for the mayor's office, told CNN the plan was the first of its kind anywhere.

MORE: The world's most incredible cycle routes

Starting them young: P\'tit Velib.
Starting them young: P'tit Velib.

Chunky gray bikes

Velib was launched in July 2007 and now claims to have more than 20,000 of its chunky gray bikes available from 1,800 docking stations around Paris.

The service, which offers half an hour of free riding followed by incremental charges, was reportedly used to make 130 million trips in its first five years.

Although Velib followed numerous earlier bike-sharing and rental plans, it grew to become one of the world's most successful.

The model of using corporate sponsorship and computerized docking stations has been imitated by other cities such as London.

The new children's bikes -- designed with the same gray stylings as their adult counterparts -- are available to rent in the Bois de Boulogne near the Porte La Muette and the Rond-Point du Jardin d'Acclimitation, the Ourcq Canal, the Bois de Vincennes and the banks of the Seine, between the Pont des Invalides and the Pont De l'Alma.

Rental rates start at €4 ($5.40).

Further locations are expected to open later in the year.

MORE: Most bike-friendly cities in the United States

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 0256 GMT (1056 HKT)
Journals, luggage tags, Panama hats? Yawn. We've got a selection of gifts travelers will actually use.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 1226 GMT (2026 HKT)
Global events, new attractions and anniversary celebrations will put these destinations on travel radars next year. Question is, which one(s) to visit?
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1248 GMT (2048 HKT)
Of all Christmas traditions out there, one has an All-American pedigree: electric Christmas tree lights.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 0251 GMT (1051 HKT)
The gateway to Japan's capital, Tokyo Station, is celebrating its centennial this month -- and it's never looked better.
December 17, 2014 -- Updated 1004 GMT (1804 HKT)
.
Looking for snow porn? This helicopter ski adventure will fly you into the Coast Mountains for the freshest runs.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1519 GMT (2319 HKT)
From Singapore to Norway, there are plenty of reasons to plan your next trip around a fabulous hotel opening its doors next year.
December 17, 2014 -- Updated 0925 GMT (1725 HKT)
Step aside Mount Everest, this mountain country is home to cool cafes, crazy drinks and ancient Buddhist tradition.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 1056 GMT (1856 HKT)
Nonprofit Ethical Traveler has released its annual list of the developing countries doing the most to promote human rights and preserve their environments.
December 11, 2014 -- Updated 1036 GMT (1836 HKT)
These waterfront watering holes have killer ocean views, creative drinks and the mahalo vibe we demand.
December 10, 2014 -- Updated 2038 GMT (0438 HKT)
Can't wait to book your ticket to Indianapolis and Oakland? The venerable guidebook is right there with you
December 10, 2014 -- Updated 0625 GMT (1425 HKT)
By helicopter, snowmobile and big-wheel truck across some of the world's most volatile landscapes.
December 9, 2014 -- Updated 2142 GMT (0542 HKT)
Construction begins on a new Singapore airport complex that could make delays and layovers a pleasure.
December 9, 2014 -- Updated 1441 GMT (2241 HKT)
Inflight chatterboxes are annoying but they're not the worst violators of onboard etiquette, according to an Expedia study.
ADVERTISEMENT