People want to hate the French, but it's hard to top Paris for food, fashion and romance. It also can claim to be the most enthusiastic bike sharing city on the planet.

Paris' bike sharing program, Velib, just celebrated its sixth anniversary, and it trounces other global cities in a number of categories, according to this wonderful infographic.

A few of its accomplishments:

  • There's one Velib rental bike for every 97 Parisians. That companies with one for every 145 residents of Hangzou, China, one for each 300 people in Montreal and a paltry one for every 8,336 New Yorkers. (Of course, some hipster will find that far more desirable than having so many bikes available.)
  • A Velib is checked out every second in Paris. There have been 173 million rides since Velib went into operation in 2007.
  • Velib users have burned 19 million calories gliding through the streets of Paris. They would have generated 121 million watts of electricity, enough to light the Eiffel Tower for six evenings.
  • The French bike sharers have saved the earth 137 tons of carbon dioxide emissions. The oldest user among them is 88 years old. Among visitors, the bikes are most popular with Brits, followed by people from Holland and Germany.


Velib gets credit from Bikeocity for spurring the race among cities to add bike sharing programs. Even Detroit has quietly gotten a program, although you have to work for Quicken Loans to take part.

So, salut to Velib, and of course, it's one more thing the French can claim to do better than us.


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