A follow-up to our post about Velib: they now allow you to purchase tickets online, which is good news for visitors who have trouble getting their credit cards to work in the Velib docking stations (it seems the issue has to do with the smart chip, which most North-American cards lack).
You can choose a 1-day ticket for €1.70, a 7-day ticket for €8, or a year-long ticket for €29. Velib requires a €150 deposit which is returned once the the bike is returned. Visa, Mastercard, Amex and Blue Visa are accepted.
Make sure your read the FAQ online to fully understand the Terms and Conditions before hiring a Velib. Once you choose the validity period of your ticket, and purchase it, you will receive an email with subscription number and PIN that you will need to enter each time you pick up your bicycle.
We’ve used Velib on many occasions and have never had any issues. It’s a great way to get around the city. And, given the heat this summer, a better alternative than the metro. Here is a handy checklist of things you should keep in mind when getting your Velib bicylcle:
- Make sure you have a map showing you where the stations are (click here for an online map). You can also download the free Velib iPhone app. Otherwise, inquire in tourist information areas or kiosks for a map.
- Before you take your bike off of the dock: check the tires, wiggle the handlebars/seat/etc. to make sure nothing is loose, spin the pedals to make sure they are not blocked. Note: if you discover a problem within one minute of pulling the bike from the dock, simply return it to the same place and take another bike immediately. Otherwise, you will have to wait 5 minutes.
- The first 30 minutes are free, which is usually plenty of time to get anywhere you need to go. If you go over the 30 minute mark, these are the charges: €1 up to 1 hour, €2 up to 1 1/2 hours, €4 up to 2 hours.
Note: some stations will be closed this July 13 & 14 for Bastille Day celebrations. See this list here.
Photo by carlosfpardo