Vélib’ (“vélo libre”, English: free bicycle) is a public bicycle rental programme in Paris, France. Starting from July 15 2007, 20,000 bicycles are available for rental from 1,450 automated stations distributed across Paris.
The system is owned and operated by the city authorities and co-financed by the JCDecaux advertising corporation. Bike rental is free for the first half hour, then costs one to four euros for each subsequent 30-minute period. The increasing price scale is intended to keep the bikes in circulation. A credit card is required to sign up for the programme and to rent bikes.
The bikes are available at any time of the day or night. Theft is minimal because of the unique design of the bicycles, their highly secure parking facilities and because payment is via credit or debit card. If a bicycle is not returned the hirer is charged around £100.
The Paris scheme has been an instant success, with the distinctive Freedom Bikes now seen all around the centre of Paris.
- Mayor asks Transport for London to examine the feasibility of bicycle hire scheme similar to the Vélib' - Freedom bike - hire scheme introduced by the Mayor of Paris, which has enjoyed great success since its launch a few weeks ago, August 9 
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- Angela Doland. "Paris on two wheels", Newsday, July 13, 2007.
- Agnès Poirier. "Vive la velorution", The Guardian, August 2, 2007.