Bikes for Tykes in Paris

The world's first bike-share program for kids

Who wants to learn to ride a bike in the driveway when you can do it alongside the Seine? (David Fiedler/Google)
Photo: David Fiedler/Google

Parisians are teaching their children that "sharing is caring," but in their own chic way: on bikes.

On June 18, P'tit Velib', an initiative sponsored by Paris's bike-share program Velib', became the world's first bike-share program for tots. Kids ages two through eight can stop by a rental station, choose one of four bike models (one is even a balance bike), grab a helmet, and learn to ride safely in the city.

"We wanted this habit of riding a bicycle, the cycling experience, to be learned at the earliest possible age and that young Parisians pick up the habit at the earliest opportunity," Jean-Francois Martins, who is in charge of sport and tourism at city hall, told the Associated Press.

Prices for the small-person shares start at 4 euros (about $5.44) per hour and go up to $16 per day. This is considerably more expensive than the adult Velib' program, which offers an unlimited annual pass for 29 euros, or $39, according to Time.

While the adult Velib' program runs around the clock, P'tit Velib' enforces bedtime hours from midmorning to 7 p.m.  

Even though Paris can't claim to be the first metropolis to introduce bike sharing, Velib's methods, such as the use of electronic docks, have caught on in other cycling cities, according to Fast Company. We'll see if the bikes-for-tykes trend catches on, too.

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