Paris’s publicly-funded Velib bicycle rental scheme is a phenomenal success, 23,600 bicycles available at 1,800 outlets located some 300 metres apart, each machine used on average 4.5 times a day. It’s great to see a government offer a high-demand, environmentally service and making a buck at the same time.

Unfortunately, Velib, originally touted as a money-maker, runs at a loss of some €15 million a year. Just maintenance and vandalism repair cost some €5 million a year.

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