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Parisian lovers’ lanes to welcome kids on bikes

World-first city bike rentals for children launched across Paris

Think Paris, and you’re likely to picture paintings hung in the Louvre, lovers strolling along the Seine or Left Bank bohemianism. Now you can add kids on bikes to that image following the launch of the world’s first self-service city rental bike programme for children.


According to CNN, thanks to its overwhelming popularity, Parisian authorities have decided to extend their Velib rental bike program to children as young as two.


Launched by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, the P'tit Velib initiative will offer four sizes of bicycles in five leafy off-road locations across the city.


"Because good habits begin early, the mayor of Paris wishes to familiarize children with using more environmentally friendly modes of transport, and from a young age," the P'tit Velib website says.


Nadhera Beletreche, a spokeswoman for the mayor's office, told CNN the plan was the first of its kind in the world.


While not the first bike-sharing service in the world, Velib has grown to become one of the world's most successful, with its model of using corporate sponsorship and computerized docking stations imitated by other cities such as London.


Launched in July 2007, Velib claims to have more than 20,000 of its bulky gray bikes available from 1,800 docking stations around Paris.


Designed with the same gray stylings as their adult counterparts, the new kids’ bikes are available from €4 (AU$5.75).


Rental bike locations include the Bois de Boulogne near the Porte La Muette and the Rond-Point du Jardin d'Acclimitation, the Ourcq Canal, the Bois de Vincennes and the banks of the Seine, between the Pont des Invalides and the Pont De l'Alma.   


Further locations expected to open later in the year.


Image: Jean-Baptiste GURLIAT - Mairie de Paris


Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 23 June 2014

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