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Bloomberg is in Paris looking at bike program.

This article explains about NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s trip to Paris.

In Paris, Bloomberg Eyes Bike Program for Home
By DIANE CARDWELL
Published: September 30, 2007

PARIS, Sept. 29 — Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, on his first trip here since he took office, acknowledged the challenges of bringing home a popular Parisian bike rental program the administration is exploring, saying he was unsure it would translate to New York.

Noting challenges like roads damaged by seasonal changes, the lack of bike lanes, liability problems and the possibility that commuters would not want to carry helmets to work, Mr. Bloomberg said: “You try to see whether it fits, and some parts of it will, but it may very well give you an idea to do something totally different.”

Under the program, which started in July, thousands of bicycles are docked along Paris streets, and customers can rent them after buying a membership ranging in time from a day (about $1.30) to a year (about $38). Members pay by the half-hour, with the first 30 minutes free. To discourage long rides, the fee rises from $1.30 for the second half-hour to $5.20 for the fourth.
Noting challenges like roads damaged by seasonal changes, the lack of bike lanes, liability problems and the possibility that commuters would not want to carry helmets to work, Mr. Bloomberg said: “You try to see whether it fits, and some parts of it will, but it may very well give you an idea to do something totally different.”

Under the program, which started in July, thousands of bicycles are docked along Paris streets, and customers can rent them after buying a membership ranging in time from a day (about $1.30) to a year (about $38). Members pay by the half-hour, with the first 30 minutes free. To discourage long rides, the fee rises from $1.30 for the second half-hour to $5.20 for the fourth.

Judging from the lines of empty consoles in the city center and the ubiquity of riders, even in the rain, the program has been a hit here, despite occasional technical glitches and a lack in some places of empty spots to return a bicycle. One official told Mr. Bloomberg that 100,000 people had signed up for yearly membership and that customers had taken more than 5 million rides.

Whether such a system could survive in New York, where bike theft is common, remains to be seen. Lionel Bordeaux, a press officer for City Hall here, said the fact that all fees were paid by credit card, and a roughly $200 charge for unreturned bikes, discouraged stealing.

Mr. Bloomberg’s trip is shaping up to be a lushly appointed tour for him and his close aides, with meals and meetings with business, academic, cultural and governmental luminaries, including the American ambassador, Craig Roberts Stapleton; Bernard Arnault, chief of the luxury goods behemoth LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton; and Luc Jacquet, the director of “March of the Penguins.”

Arriving at the Hôtel de Ville, the grand City Hall, Mr. Bloomberg gave Mayor Bertrand Delanoë an apple-shaped silver dish from Tiffany. Mr. Delanoë presented his counterpart with a silver tray and gave a gold brooch in the shape of the Paris logo, a ship, to Mr. Bloomberg’s companion, Diana L. Taylor, who promptly put it on.

The couple, along with Mr. Bloomberg’s deputy mayors Patricia E. Harris and Kevin Sheekey, then joined Mr. Delanoë for a lunch including foie gras and mushroom soup, fish and several glasses of wine, including a 1995 Château Margaux Pavillon Rouge that Mr. Bloomberg seemed to particularly enjoy.

“The wines were French, and they were excellent,” Mr. Bloomberg, a fan of California merlot, told reporters, saying that he did not normally drink at lunch but had made an exception out of deference to Mr. Delanoë’s hospitality. “Can’t explain the second glass of red, but that’s neither here nor there,” he joked.

Mr. Bloomberg ended his day in Blackpool, England, at a dinner with David Cameron of the Conservative Party, whose conference Mr. Bloomberg is to address on Sunday.
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I wonder if Mayor Bloomberg explained to the French that a bicycle program also might not work in NYC because the city spends millions of dollars to harass cyclists….hmmm. Probably didn’t come up during lunch time wine tasting…It must be so hard to be a billionaire.

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