This new service will offer 300 rentable bikes, divided among five different locations in Paris: le Bois de Vincennes (12e), la Coulee Verte (12e), les Berges de Seine (7e), le Bois de Boulogne (16e), and le Canal de l'Ourcq (19e).
Wednesday, the Municipality of Paris initiated a location-based bicycle service for children between 2 and 8 years old - Little Velib, a miniature version of the already existing Velib for adults.
“The goal is to popularize the practice of biking and to help families. Before, it was necessary to buy a bike at each stage of the child's growth," stated Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, who participated at the launch.
Like Velib , the bikes are built by JC Decaux, an outdoor advertising French group. Financed by a drink company, Fruit Shoot, the service costs nothing to the city, according to the organizers.
The service will offer 300 rentable bikes, divided among three different locations in Paris: Bois de Vincennes (12e), Coulee Verte (12e), Berges de Seine (7e), Bois de Boulogne (16e), and Canal de l'Ourcq (19e).
Local businesses and stands will manage the location points, and they will benefit from being close to a bike location. Children's parents will be able to rent a bike at rates from 4-6 euros per hour and between 10-15 euros per day.
"We want children to become eco-citizens, sensitized to using bikes, and who will eventually graduate to Velib," explained Gildas Robert, in charge of marketing and communications for City of Paris brands. There are four different bicycle sizes, depending on the child's body.
Parents can choose to leave their children under a monitor's supervision, such as Joel Sick, founder of AICV, a company that manages the Little Velib location at the Berges de Seine. He starts by teaching balancing and breaking to all children on a dandy horse, a bike without pedals. "It is important for children to bike alongside their parents," he believes.
According to Christophe Najdovski, Deputy of Transportation for the Paris Municipality, bikeable paths, currently 700 km long in Paris, will be doubled under Anne Hidalgo's term.
What are some other ways to encourage biking at a young age?
Original article, originally published in French, here.
Credits: Data and images linked to sources.