Vélo'v is a bicycle rental service run by the city of Lyon, France, in conjunction with the advertising company JCDecaux. The relationship with JCDecaux allows the city to provide the service on a cost neutral basis for the city, and at very low cost to users, in return for providing exclusive advertising access on bus shelters and the like. The primary aim is to reduce vehicle traffic within the city. The scheme also aims to reduce pollution, create a convivial atmosphere within the city, and encourage the health benefits of increased activity. Its name is a portmanteau of French vélo (bike) and English love.
The service began on the 19th of May 2005 and now provides over 3000 bicycles available from over 350 stations situated around the cities of Lyon and Villeurbanne. The aim is to have stations within 300m of every point in the city. The bicycles can be returned to any other station. Access is via a subscription system in which a card is purchased online or at a station giving the user an account and a PIN with which they access bicycles through a terminal situated at the bicycle stations.
Rentals can last from less than 30 minutes up to 24 hours and are available to anyone 14 years and over holding a Carte Vélo'v (subscription card for the service).
The June 2006 edition of the Vélo'v newsletter reported that over 22,000 rentals per day were made by the over 52,000 subscribers to the service, an increase of 44% in a year, and representing 6,400,000 km traveled for the year.
In 2010, Velo'v data was analysed by a cross-disciplinary team, who found some interesting patterns, such as higher average speeds on Wednesdays, speeds that outpaced cars during peak hour, and an average trip length of 14.7 minutes.
Vélo'v bicycles, along with a lock and basket, contain electronic components which allow the bicycle to be identified by the stations, allow tracking of kilometers traveled, tracking of the condition of the bicycles, (lights, brakes, dynamo), and collection of detailed statistics about the usage of the bicycles.
For the 2006 edition of the Festival of Lights, Lyon had been partly modelized in order to create a video game named Velo'v racing in Lyon, created by B2B Games. Pedestrians could play for free from December 7 to December 10 and the game was broadcast on screens on place de la République.
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