Date registered: February 10, 2010
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I lived in Paris for a while, and in 2007 they started the "Rental bikes".
The difference with having your own bike is that you can just rent one for a one-way ride to the center let's say. You meet with friends, then later at night you move with them to a club. With your own bike, you would have to go back to the first place and do the return journey home.
It worked well in Paris, because there was a LOT of bike stations (every 300m or so). Very convenient at night as well, to come back from parties after subway has closed (midnight).
Paris's bikes were free for 30min, which was enough to cross half of the city. Wait another 5 min, and you could pick up another one for 30 min for free.
- stations often empty in the center near touristic spots
- stations full at night and no damn possibilities to return the bike (you'd have to ride around a few blocks to find an empty space in a station)
- LOTS of volunteerly damaged bikes. But many young French are bastards.
Bikes are ID identification, so no one would steel them. Also, bikes were pretty heavy and unconfortable, I wouldn't see a thief driving it all day... not fancy at all!
Chengdu free bikes, let's have a try!