Parisian "Velib"

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Widely regarded as the first successful bike-sharing system, the Parisian "Vélib" has 20,600 bikes currently used throughout the city. According to the winter 2009 issue of Sustainable Transport, Paris has inspired cities around the globe to follow suit and now more than 90 cities have bike-sharing systems. One of the most popular of these recent additions is Montréal's "Bixi" system (or "Bicycle Taxi"), which opened last summer and is the largest in North America with 5,000 bikes and 400 stations in the downtown area. "Bixi" boasts "self-contained modular" bike parking stations that use solar energy and WiFi. Though the system is city-owned, Montréal expects "all operating cost to be funded through user fees." The first half hour on the bicycles is free and the second is $1.50 (Canadian), doubling every half hour and capping at $6. In the United States, Boston has placed an order for a similar system and New York and Seattle are expected to do the same.

So why can't Chicago?

Check out the Bixi system at

http://www.bixi.com/home

.