A funny thing happened during the last transportation strike in Paris. Without the ability to travel across the city by Métro or bus, people took to bicycles to get around.
Riding a bike anywhere in Paris is safer for even the moderately experienced cyclist than almost anywhere in the United States. The French are very aware of the presence of cyclists, even reverent of them.
And in July 2007, Paris introduced Velib – a system of 10,000 bicycles available for rental at 750 automated stations around the city. The system is expected to grow to 20,000 bikes and 1,450 automated stations.
You’ll need to get a subscription to this service for 1 day, at a cost of 1€, or 7 days for just 5€. With your subscription, the bike rental is free for the first half hour of each individual trip (or from when you release the bike from one station and return it to the next). From there, an hour’s rental cost’s 1€, 90 minutes costs 3€, 2 hours costs 7€, and longer times obviously cost more. But the beauty about this system is that you really don’t need more than 30 minutes with the bike. Just return it once you get to your destination…and then hire another bike when you’re ready for the next leg of your voyage. You’ll need either a credit card or a Navigo pass to sign up for the program.