Paris bike-sharing program hit by thefts, vandalism

Oct. 5, 2013 at 5:19 PM
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PARIS, Oct. 5 (UPI) -- Increased vandalism and theft threatens a six-year-old bike-sharing program in Paris, officials say.

Government officials say security cameras are being installed at docking stations in areas where the problem is worst, The reported.

The Velib program is operated by JCDecaux, a multinational company. The company says it has lost about 9,000 bicycles to thievery and vandalism, while the city government says about 18,000, more than required, are available for share.

Albert Asseraf, a JCDecaux spokesman, said it costs hundreds of dollars to repair each bicycle.

"We are six years down the line and it has never been this bad," Asseraf said. "It has become a real problem. We have 220 bike mechanics working every day to repair the thousands of velibs that have been vandalized."

Vandals who are caught are required to take a bicycle-repair class as part of an effort to teach them the consequences of their actions.

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