Commute by Bike reader Jerome pointed out the opportunity available in some cities in France for bicycle rental services.
Here’s an excerpt from the Wikipedia page:
Velo’v is bicycle rental service run by the city of Lyon, France, in conjunction with the advertising company JCDecaux. The relationship with JCDecaux allows the city to provide the service on a cost neutral basis for the city, and at very low cost to users, in return for providing exclusive advertising access on bus shelters and the like. The primary aim is to reduce vehicle traffic within the city. The scheme also aims to reduce pollution, create a convivial atmosphere within the city, and encourage the health benefits of increased activity.
The service began on the 19th of May 2005 and now provides over 2000 bicyles available from over 157 stations situated around the cities of Lyon and Villeurbanne. The bicycles can be returned to any other station. Access is via a subscription system in which a card is purchased online or at a station giving the user an account and a PIN with which they access bicycles through a terminals situated at the bicycle stations.
And the article on BikeForAll.net announcing the expansion to Paris:
Outdoor advertising firm JCDecaux has won the contract to supply Paris with bikes for a new and free city-wide bicycle hire service. The company already operates Cyclocity pay-per-ride cycle hire schemes in Lyon and Brussels
Why isn’t this happening across the US? This seems like a viable service that won’t cost the tax payers any extra and will promote all the benefits of bicycle commuting.