Paris' Popular Bike Program May Inspire Others Launched in July, Paris' "Velib" bikes were part of the mayor's idea of making the city more ecologically friendly and reducing traffic. Just two months on, the bikes seem to be changing the way people get around the city.

Paris' Popular Bike Program May Inspire Others

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Eleanor Beardsley sends this report.


ELEANOR BEARDSLEY: Unidentified Man: Ca va?

BEARDSLEY: People are saying hi to me in their cars. It's a good way to meet people, I think. The bike is very sturdy. It's got a basket in front to carry things, a gear change, a lock to lock it up if you want to stop for a cafe. And then most importantly...


BEARDSLEY: It's got a bell to ward off those crazy Parisian drivers.


BEARDSLEY: As I turned my cycle in, I asked fellow rider, Daniel Breda, what he thinks about it all.

DANIEL BREDA: Yes. Yes, I like it very much. I use it every day. I am retired, so I have all my time and I use it to visit Paris. I figure you need about one hour, one hour and a half per day.

BEARDSLEY: How much does that cost you?

BREDA: Nothing because I change. Every 30 minutes I change, so it's free.

BEARDSLEY: For NPR News, I'm Eleanor Beardsley in Paris.

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