France’s first long-term bike hire scheme launches

Mon Bicloo is the first-high profile bike hire company to offer long-term options

A bike hire service launching today (Friday September 7) in Nantes is to give users “medium and long term” access to bikes - a departure from the usual “single trip” services usually seen in France.

“Mon Bicloo” - open today in the ground floor of the city’s Carré Feydeau shopping mall - offers bikes that can be hired out for long periods of time to a single user, as long as they continue to pay for the hire.

Depending on the tariff and conditions chosen, prices range from €20-€150 per month, and from €120-€1080 per year. This includes ongoing maintenance of the bike, as well as a padlock to keep it locked up when not in use.

Mon Bicloo is the first high-profile venture in France to offer bikes on a long-term hire basis.

It is from the same company as the “Bicloo Plus” service that was launched in Nantes in August this year. This offers bikes for hire too, but along the same lines as other city-based hire services such as Velib’, which are designed to be used for single journeys and one-day use.

The scheme is managed by advertising giant JCDecaux.

Mon Bicloo is aiming to make long-term bike use more accessible, it says, with a view to convincing people to “prefer the little saddle to a car”.

It is aiming to double the number of bikes available by 2020, and plans to make three quarters of its fleet electric in the same time.

Users can order a bike online and pick it up in person on-site, and can also bring the bike back to the Mon Bicloo premises for repair.

Johanna Rolland, president of the Nantes Metropole area, said: “We believe that bikes should become a mode of transport in their own right. With this new offer, we want to go further and attract new cyclists. This will allow them - for example - to test cycling before buying their own bike.”

From September 30, a “Bicloo Mobile” service will also drive around regularly to offer other users a similar bike hire scheme across the 24 communes surrounding Nantes.

Bike hire schemes are not new to France, although they do have a mixed success rate.

Others to launch recently include Danish company Donkey Republic; Velib’; CityScoot; Cooltra; and the now-defunct (the latter of which lasted just four months in France).

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