Parisians fume as coq-up by Velib’s new operator grounds bikes

"A quarter of the Parisian trips by bike have disappeared into thin air," says Twitter user EmmanuelSPV pointing BikeBiz to the debacle that has been billed "Velibgate"

Last year Paris awarded a new operations contract for Velib to the French-Spanish Smovengo consortium, ousting outdoor advertising group JCDecaux, which had run it since 2007.

The old Velib bikes have been withdrawn and only 100 out of a planned 1,400 docking stations are currently operational. It will be March before all of Velib’s 20,000 bikes will be back on the road.

Smovengo said that legal action by JCDecaux and technical problems with electricity supply to the new docks were part of the reason for the delays. (Some of the new Velib bikes are pedal-assist models.)

While the sun shines make hay, the Chinese dockless bike-share firms are thinking as use of these "freefloating" bikes mushrooms. 

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