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Vélib' prices to rise 70 per cent

Daily and weekly passes will rise to match Metro prices, but special deals will be offered to young people

THE PRICE of using Paris' Vélib' bicycle-hire scheme is set to rise by up to 70 per cent from the start of May.

The cost of day tickets will increase from €1 to €1.70, while a seven-day pass will rise from €5 to €8.

Users pay a subscription for a day, week, month or year, during which time they can use the bicycles free of charge for up to 30 minutes.

The cost of annual subscriptions, which according to the local authority make up 76 per cent of users, is unaffected.

People aged 14 to 26 will be able to use bike for up to 45 minutes for free, while students receiving grants and young people on work placement will be able to buy annual passes for €19.

According to Le Figaro, subscriptions to the Vélib' services have dropped by 20 per cent in two years.

A spokesman for the Paris mairie said the authority was looking into simplifying the procedures to renew contracts and reducing the number of stations that are regularly empty because bikes are ridden in one direction.

JCDecaux, which runs the Paris Velib' system, has bought two new lorries capable of carrying 56 bikes each to improve their redistribution throughout the capital.

Since the scheme began in July 2007, around 16,000 bikes have been vandalised, half of them needing to be replaced. The Paris mairie has stopped issuing information on the number of thefts.

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