Eating is an agricultural act - Wendell Berry

Monday, July 14, 2008

recycle cycle

at std 6, i had a choice of second language. continue with hindi or choose french.
actually the choice was less mine and more my parents. from simple 'scoring marks' idea, french was chosen and i vaguely remember my dad mentioning something around 'global/foreign language', etc.
after 6 years of learning french, i developed a soft corner for all things french (i am more partial to rolland garros than wimbledon).

leaving aside the juvenile affections and biases, there is a lot of french stuff which is brilliant.
highlighting a recent one, which is quite outstanding - the velib city-cycle service.
quoting from the french tourist office site:
On July 15, 2007, the city of Paris will debut a new self-service "bicycle transit system" called Velib’. Parisians and visitors alike will be able to pick up and drop off bicycles throughout the city at 750 locations—offering a total of 10,648 bikes. By the end of the year, there will be a Velib’ station approximately every 900 feet for a total of 1,451 locations and 20,600 bikes.

To access the bikes, riders can select a one-day card for 1 euro, a weekly card for 5 euros or an annual card for 29 euros. After the purchase of an access card, riding for the first half-hour is free and a supplement of 1 euro will be charged for an additional half-hour, 2 euros for another 30-minutes and 4 euros for every addition half-hour after that. Example: a 25 minute trip = 0 euros, a 50 minute trip = 1 euro, an hour and 15-minute ride = 3 euros.

Each Velib’ parking station will be equipped with muni-meters to purchase one and 7-day passes and to pay any additional charges once the bike is dropped off. The Velib’ meters will also provide information on other station locations.
The city of Paris has over 371 km (230 miles) of cycling lanes. (emphasis mine)
incidentally, today is the first anniversary-eve of the launch.

in a year, NYT reports that 27.5 million trips have been made at an average of 120,000 a day.
that will be approx 27.5 million trip x 2.5 kms/trip (approx) = 70 Mn kilometers = 7 Mn liters of petrol (at 10 kms per liter in a typical car).
it is quite remarkable.
bogota, colombia's capital city, has an phenomenal city cycling system - Ciclorruta.

one of the key things in all these initiatives, is the efforts of the Mayors in the respective cities. politicians can change things dramatically for the good of the people (as democracy intends).

in indian cities.....lets see.


Vanessa said...

BonJour Monsieur!
Paris is the no.1 tourist destination in the world, they have to be innovative. (Sandeep Shejwalkar is in Paris)
Would be really nice to see this stuff in India.

Preeti Aghalayam aka kbpm said...

wow! this would be awesome to have here.

csm said...

v - oui, we are familiar :-) bogota is the drug capital of the world (my title) but yet they are innovative. there is something about planning and foresight which their mayor got in.

kbpm - realistically...doesn't look likely.