Toulouse. Self-service cycling, a system set to evolve: several projects under study

VélÔToulouse now has 2,600 bicycles in 287 stations. Bike

By Hugues-Olivier Dumez
Posted on Nov 27, 20 at 2:08 p.m.

VélÔToulouse now has 2,600 bicycles in 287 stations.
VélÔToulouse now has 2,600 bicycles in 287 stations. (© Adobe Stock Illustration)

It was November 16, 2007. The JCDecaux company inaugurated its self-service bicycle system in Toulouse.

25,000 kilometers per day, on average

Thirteen years later, the VélÔToulouse offer includes a fleet of 2,600 bicycles spread over 287 stations. A total of 44,000 people subscribe per year. And some 310,000 short-term subscribers use VélÔToulouse on a more occasional basis.

Last year an average of 25,000 kilometers per day was driven, with record days at 40,000 kilometers driven.

Rising numbers

“I am very happy with the success of VélÔToulouse, one of the very first bike-sharing systems deployed by the Group in France, the interest of which is more evident than ever in this very special year”, underlines Patrick Tregou, regional director of JCDecaux . The service has 3,000 additional long-term subscribers, just over the period between early June and late September 2020 (+ 11%).

“Very well maintained bikes”

According to JCDecaux, the success of VélÔToulouse is based “on very well maintained quality bikes, a dense network of stations throughout the municipality and the reliability of a service available 7 days a week and 24 hours a day”. In addition, two applications, Tisséo and AllbikesNow, provide real-time mapping of bicycles and available spaces in the station.

Faced with the success of VélÔToulouse, Mayor Jean-Luc Moudenc promises to “strengthen” and “improve” the service on the occasion of the renewal of the contract. In an interview with Actu Toulouse, Patrick Tregou, regional director of JCDecaux, evokes several avenues for reflection. Interview.

“We will be candidates for our own succession”

When does your contract end in Toulouse?

The contract ends in Toulouse in 2022. Being at the origin of VélÔToulouse, we will obviously be candidates for our own succession. I take this opportunity to reiterate that this is a community investment. Access to VélÔToulouse, for the user, is 25 euros per year because the community finances the service and rents the advertising space on the terminals of the stations. In Toulouse, we have 287 stations and 2,600 bicycles in circulation. Within Greater Lyon, it’s 3,870 bikes. In Nantes, there are 1,181 bicycles.

Could the VélÔToulouse service develop in other towns in the metropolis?

A reflection is underway, within the metropolis, to position VélÔToulouse on the whole territory. Several solutions are possible. In Nantes and Lyon, for example, JCDecaux offers a mix of self-service bicycles and long-term bicycles. People who live outside the city center have the option of keeping the bike at home. In this case, additional stations must then be set up to provide a link between the mother city and the peripheral municipalities. If you are in a city far from the urban perimeter, long-term cycling is a must. It is for the community to decide, according to its needs.

“Cities decide”

What about the self-service electric bicycle?

There are two logics. We are able to offer both on-board batteries and removable batteries. Again, it depends on the choice of the community. On long-term cycling, Nantes has chosen electric bikes with on-board batteries. In contrast, self-service bicycles are 100% mechanical. In Lyon, some of the self-service bicycles are equipped with removable batteries, the other part is purely mechanical. In Luxembourg, we only offer self-service electric bikes, but with an on-board battery. The cities decide.

The town hall behind an investigation in 2018

Toulouse City Hall conducted a satisfaction survey in 2018, to which nearly 20% of subscribers responded: • 82% of subscribers use the service during the work week; • 72% of subscribers use the service between midnight and 6 a.m. • 71% of subscribers use the service one or more times a week • 51% of users say they use VélÔToulouse to go directly to work or to school. More than 60% of these trips are part of multimodal trips.


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