Where Do 7,800 Stolen Bikes Go?

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About half of the 15,000 bicycles used in Paris’ innovative bike rental scheme have somehow disappeared, BBC reports. Apparently they’re not turning up on eBay!

Still, the program — where you rent a bike from a rack for a nominal fee, then return it to another rack at your destination — is deemed a success. As Sarah Gilbert at WalletPop notes, only 15 thefts are reported for every 80,000 users. The company supplying the bikes threatens to jump ship, but StreetsBlog thinks its demise “is greatly exaggerated.”

The city of Paris will keep the program, no doubt, and it well should provide a model for any metropolis (several cities have adapted it, and in fact Paris emulated Lyon for its foray). If there’s enough density to the grid and the network gets enough use, it just becomes uncool to steal the bikes.

Portland had its Yellow Bike project, which apparently it had its ups and downs but has morphed into the Create-a-Commuter program.

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