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Here’s some sobering news from Paris, home to Velib, one of the first commercial bike-share schemes and the Western world’s largest, most ambitious share program:

While North America has been buzzing with enthusiasm over the relatively recent introduction of bike-share, there’s been some sobering news recently from a city that’s had its system in place since 2007. Home to the largest bike-share program outside China, it turns out Paris has been losing its bikes to theft and vandalism. A lot of bikes.

According to figures unearthed by Le Monde last week, 9,000 bikes from Paris’ Vélib’ bike-share system were damaged or stolen last year. As of this summer, 35 bike stations across the city had been shut down for repairs or due to bike shortages, leaving gaps in availability that can’t be fixed even by the usual daily redistribution of bicycles back to outlying stations.

Read the full article and all the lurid details by visiting the Atlantic Cities page directly.

Vue du Bistrot 13

We’ve written extensively on Paris’ Velib bike share plan before…and are big fans. Here’s hoping the city can figure out how to retain bikes, stop vandalism, and keep the program running smoothly.