Nice, 15 July, 2009: Starting the 18th of July the Vélobleu will be available for everyone in Nice.
The stations are already there, like here in Rue Bonaporte (Port area)…
…and here, on Boulevard Gambetta.
This is the Vélobleu station in Rue Préfecture (Vieux Nice).
This thing (in French, Italian and English) explains how the systems works.
And this map shows the places where you can hire a bike or drop it. Click here to see larger version of the map.
There are 90 stations all over Nice, and there will be 1.750 bikes available, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.
The weight of the bikes is 18 kilograms, 4 kilograms lighter than the Paris Vélib.
You can pay with your credit card or with your mobile phone. You have to be older than 14 years.
You can subscribe to the Vélobleu: for a year (€ 25,-), a month (€10,-), a week (€5,-), or a day (€ 1,-).
If you only want to use it occasionally, the first 30 minutes are free, from 30 minutes to an hour it’s € 1,-, and you pay € 2,- for every additional hour.
Even if you are subscribed to Vélobleu, you have to return your bike to one of the stations within 24 hours.
It’s wonderful to see these bike plans develop all over the world. It very much reminds me of my fellow countryman and fellow Provo Ruud Schimmelpenninck, who developed the “White Bike Plan” for the city of Amsterdam in the 1960s.
Some people say that the rest of the world is 50 years behind comparing to Amsterdam. Today the city of Nice proofs that this is not true: it’s only 49 years.
UPDATE 20 JULY, 2009
The Vélobleu was received well by the public. Niçoise motorists are not exactly known for their patience, and some of them find it necessary to respond rather irritated to the new traffic participants (more obstacles that you have to avoid), but in general the introduction of the Vélobleu went smoothly.
A Vélobleu station in Rue de Foresta, in the Port.
Vélobleu station in Rue Catherine Ségurane, at the Collège Ségurane. People have to get used to the system, but there’s always someone wiling and able to explain it to you.
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