Paris bike-share numbers have dwindled sharply. Of the 23,800 bikes that have been provided or promised since it launched, only 14,000 will now remain in service. What makes this crime wave more striking is that by contrast, London’s bike-share system has seen only 143 thefts since it began in 2010. So why are Paris’s figures so terrible compared to its northern neighbor?
The answer lies partly in the sheer ambition of Vélib’. With 12,000 docking stations, it extends beyond the boundaries ofParis Intramuros and out into the suburbs of the Petite Couronne area of greater Paris. This means that, unlike London’s scheme, which limits itself to a central area, 8,000 bikes and a meager but more easily monitored 570 docking stations, it’s of real use to suburban commuters.