JCDecaux – the company that runs the Velib bicycle rental scheme (literally a combination of: velo – Bike, and liberte – freedom) in Paris has run into problems due to escalating costs. Indeed, it is suggesting that it can no longer afford to operate the city network as a private business model. Of the 15,000 specially made bicycles, over half have been stolen or vandalised.
“Since the scheme’s launch, nearly all the original bicycles have been replaced at a cost of 400 euros ($519, £351) each. The Velib bikes….have also fallen victim to a craze known as “velib extreme”. Various videos have appeared on YouTube showing riders taking the bikes down the steps in Montmartre, into metro stations and being tested on BMX courses.”