Velib': Paris's Public Bike Sharing System

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

Case Details:


Case Code : OPER090 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 300;
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Design / Operating Model / Innovation / Sustainability

Case Length : 19 Pages
Period : 2007-2009
Organization : JCDecaux / City of Paris
Pub Date : 2009
Teaching Note : Not Available
Countries : Paris, France
Industry : Media / Public sector


This case is about Velib, Paris's public bike system that was started in July 2007 by one of the world's leading advertising agencies, JCDecaux. This was a bid by the city administration to improve the transportation system for Parisians. JCDecaux modeled Velib after its successful bike sharing program, Velo'v that had been launched in Lyon, France, in May 2005.

As part of the deal, JCDecaux provided 20,600 bicycles and also maintained the Velib system consisting of bicycles, bike stations, and terminals. In return, JCDecaux got access to the 1,628 billboards in Paris for outdoor advertising. The case discusses the operating model of the Velib in detail and the challenges faced by it.

According to experts, the Velib system was a huge success with over 50 million trips being reported since its launch and August 2009. Some experts commended JCDecaux for developing a system that helped reduce environmental impact while improving the mobility of Parisians. While Velib was reported to be a successful program, the downside was increasing theft and vandalism. JCDecaux contended that these problems had rendered the present business model of Velib unsustainable. However, some critics believed that the company was making a lot of fuss over the issues just to negotiate a better deal with the city of Paris.


» Study the Velib public bike sharing system.
» Understand the importance of design (product design/ system/ processes) in meeting the operational objectives.
» Study the operating model of the Velib system.
» Analyze whether the Velib system is sustainable.
» Examine the challenges in implementing the Velib system and explore strategies that the Velib team can adopt in the future.


  Page No.
Introduction 1
The Public Bike System 2
The Vélib' Launch 4
Vélib' - Design and Aesthetics 5
The Operating Model 7
The Results 9
Vélib' - Contributing to Sustainability? 10
Looking Ahead 12
Exhibits 14


Operating model, Business model, Design, Innovation, Sustainability, Sustainable transportation, Public bike rental system, Bike sharing, Transportation system, Cyclocity system, Paris Mobility Plan, Advertising, Vélib', JCDecaux

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