'10,000 Vélib bikes in Paris at end of August'

Smovengo velib bikes at a station in Paris

Consortium that took over bikeshare scheme has 'until September' to solve problems

A total 10,000 bikes and 800 Vélib stations equipped with chargers for electric bikes will be in operation across Paris by the end of August, according to Smovengo, the consortium that took over operating the bikeshare service at the start of the year

From July 15 to August 15, a total 777 stations with charging systems will be in service," Smovengo said in a statement. By 31 August, Smovengo has set itself a target of 10,000 bicycles, 3,000 of them electric, making 30,000 daily journeys.

Those figures remain well below initial targets of 700 stations on January 1, and 1,400 by the end the end of March in Paris and the 60 member municipalities of the metropolis.

The transition from former operators JC Decaux to Smovengo far from smooth. In March, city authorities stepped in to rescue the bikeshare scheme amid delays introducing new stations and bikes.

City Hall has since given Smovengo "until September" to solve the problems plaguing the bikeshare system.

But there is some good news for long-suffering users of the scheme. On Wednesday, July 11, the Comité Syndical Autolib' Velib' Métropole voted to make the first 30 minutes of mechanical and electrical Vélib' use free for all subscribers, from 16 July to 31 August 2018.

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