Paris Switches Vélib Operator from JCDecaux to Smoovengo
PARIS, France – The 20,000 Vélibs including the 1,800 docking stations in the French capital will be replaced in 2017-2018. The city of Paris awarded the bicycle hiring scheme to a new operator, the French-Spanish consortium Smoovengo.
The Vélib system was launched in 2007 as was awarded for ten years to outdoor advertising firm JCDecaux. “Smoovengo would provide lighter and stronger bicycles, a third of which will be electric, to Paris and surrounding municipalities under a 600 million euro contract that will run from 2018 to 2032,” reported a Paris city official to Reuters.
Insiders report that the decision was approved by an overwhelming majority of the Paris city council after the Joint Tender Board ranked Smoovengo’s offer as the number one.
JCDeaux filed an appeal
JCDecaux criticized this decision and the proposal of its competitor. The outdoor advertising giant filed an appeal with the Paris Administrative Court to challenge Smoovengo’s new contract. In a statement JCDecaux says to start this procedure “to protect the interests of the 315 partners have been participating in the unrivalled success of Vélib in the past ten years.”
The Smoovengo consortium
The Smoovengo consortium is led by Montpellier-based privately held firm Smoove, which operates city bike rental schemes in several French cities, and a string of international cities including Helsinki, Moscow, Chicago, Vancouver, Bangkok and Marrakech. The consortium includes four international mobility experts, Smoove, Indigo, Mobivia and Moventia.