Sunday, 14 August 2011

Pull Over, Vélib

iPhone Photo Chronicles
~ Pull Over, Vélib ~

Pull Over, Vélib, originally uploaded by Paris Set Me Free.

BONUS: For Street Photography Fans!

Now that the easy Paris bike hire scheme, Vélib, is well established, and its big sister car hire version, Autolib, has now been rolled out, prepare yourself for the latest development in this successful concept: Buslib!

The first trials are taking place in central Paris this summer, and haven't always been met with universal approval.

The idea is that groups of tourists don't leave huge fume-spouting beasts unnecessarily taking up the extremely limited parking space in the city. All they have to do is turn up at one of the new Buslib stations and off they go on a first-come, first-served basis. When they've arrived at their next tourist hotspot they simply deposit their bus which can immediately be reused by another group of sight-seers. Perfect!

Except that one average sized coach instantly eliminates about 20 Vélib parking places, these being the only places available on the very tight deadline the scheme was running to.

This has been accepted, at least in the short-term, as an acceptable trade-off, as most of the bike-users are on locals who are currently on holiday and probably won't notice, and those pesky cyclists were always getting squashed as they wandered aimlessly through the streets, ignoring traffic lights and generally making a nuisance of themselves. And besides, their contribution to the city's economy is pretty minimal which probably tipped the balance in the end.

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on the new Buslib project. An initiative too far from the Paris powers that be, or an ingenious new breakthrough, soon to be copied in towns around Europe à la Paris Plage? Answers on an Eiffel Tower postcard to the usual address ;~S

© 2011
Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free - Contact me directly for photo tours, interviews, exhibitions, etc.

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