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Paris' newest addition to its cycle-sharing program: bikes for kids

Paris' newest addition to its cycle-sharing program: bikes for kids
Children ride free bicycles Wednesday during the rollout of the P'tit Velib' bike-sharing program for kids. (Remy de la Mauviniere / Associated Press)

Many cities have given up sidewalk space to inexpensive bike-share rentals, but Paris has gone one step beyond. In what it says is the first of its kind in the world, the city last week started a bicycle-sharing program for children as young as 2.

P'tit Vélib', or Little Vélib', is the name of the service that features four sizes of bikes for different ages of children up to 8 years old. Helmets come with the rental.

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Starting in 2007, Vélib' put 20,000 bikes on the streets of Paris for travelers and locals to get around the city under their own power. Users buy a one-day ticket for 1.7 euros (or about $2.31 dollars), receive 30 minutes free and then are charged 1 euro ($1.35) to 4 euros ($5.43) per half hour for additional time.

P'tit Vélib' has 300 bicycles for little ones, the Guardian reports. Prices shown on the website vary from 4 euros ($5.43) to 6 euros ($8.15) an hour for the kiddie wheels, depending on where you pick up the bicycle.

FastCompany blog says the service is limited, available only on weekends, holidays and during school vacations. "Full-on bike share this is not," writes Shaunacy Ferro. So far there are five sites, including two at the Bois de Boulogne, where parents can rent bicycles, and they must be returned to the same rental site. Two more are supposed to open later this summer.

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