Cycle Hire, a complete “city life-style” *(10/10/2011)
Cities have a huge effect on modern society. The global phenomenon of increasing urbanisation over recent decades means that today, most of the world’s population live in cities(1).
Travel and transport have become central to the quality of urban life. The experience of cities worldwide has shown that with a creative and dynamic approach to transport, the urban environment can become accessible, free-flowing, sustainable and pleasant for residents and tourists alike.
It is against this backdrop that bicycle hire schemes offer cities an additional form of transport with numerous benefits for users. Cycle hire is an easy and flexible means of transport that allows users to (re)discover the city at their own pace, enhancing quality of life. According to two sociologists eminent in the study of cities, modern life and transport, the bicycle has an important part to play in sustainable travel as it provides an individual form of transport that has implications for the wider community.
“The bicycle has proven to be a key means of access to the city network and it may even be the best. It is certainly an additional travel option that cannot be ignored. Faster than walking, more flexible than public transport, quieter than the car, the bicycle makes it possible to explore the ever-changing city, and its secrets. The bicycle is a remarkable way of experiencing the city.”
*Bruno Marzloff- sociologist - specialist in travel - organiser of the Chronos Group
Commenting on Paris (Vélib') and Lyon (Vélo' V): “In cities where 50% of people live alone, the use of bicycles has a dual function. It allows people to travel autonomously yet also provides a social aspect - using one of these communal bicycles is a great way to meet people. When you look at what is happening in Lyon, the social benefits provided by cycle hire should not be underestimated.”
Jean Viard - sociologist - CNRS research director at Sciences-pop (CEVIPOF)
(1) Source: The United Nations - “State of World population 2007”, UNFPA