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In Paris, Thefts and Vandalism Could Force Bike-Share to Shrink

A whopping 9,000 bikes were damaged or stolen last year, costing the Vélib' system about €1 million.
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While North America has been buzzing with enthusiasm over the relatively recent introduction of bike-share, there’s been some sobering news recently from a city that's had its system in place since 2007. Home to the largest bike-share program outside China, it turns out Paris has been losing its bikes to theft and vandalism. A lot of bikes.

According to figures unearthed by Le Monde last week, 9,000 bikes from Paris' Vélib' bike-share system were damaged or stolen last year. As of this summer, 35 bike stations across the city had been shut down for repairs or due to bike shortages, leaving gaps in availability that can’t be fixed even by the usual daily redistribution of bicycles back to outlying stations. The costs incurred by this wave of theft and vandalism are huge. A new bike costs €650, while repairs to damaged or vandalized bikes cost €450 on average. The Paris City Hall official responsible for monitoring the scheme reckons thefts and repairs cost €1 million last year.