Velib is definitely the great success of this Paris season. It started on mid-July and has grown more and more popular ever since.
If you are steady on two wheels and have a clear idea on which way you’re going to take to get where you want to go, Velib is a good choice. You will find stations all over the city, about every 300 meters, and you take or leave a bike 24 hours a day. All you need is a credit card. It will cost you 1 euro for one day, 5 euros for seven days, for as many rides as you wish. The first half our is free, it’s 1 euro for an hour, 2 euros for 30′ more, and 4 euros for every 30′ more.
Riding a bike, you can get to most of inner Paris places within half an hour, which makes Velib the cheapest way to move around. This explains how popular it is, may be too much of a success.
Leaving a bike in the middle of the day in the center and business areas is a real challenge, and most of the time, it will take you about half an hour more to find a place in another station not too far away from your destination. On the contrary, all stations uphills are empty : people ride down, and go back up by bus, metro, anything but a bike, except for champions or masochists, who are not so many.
This is why I am not sure that Velib would be an option for Thursday 10/18 national transports strike, but who knows?
To know how many bikes are available in Velib stations, and get all information, go to : http://www.velib.paris.fr/