Our readers surely know about the public bike rental services that are currently being installed around Europe: First city was Lyon, then Vienna (now canceled suspended for winter), Barcelona, Seville and Paris. Rome, which is a city with serious transit problems, has decided to give it a try as well. Other cities such as Madrid and San Francisco have sent representatives to Barcelona and Paris to check the possibility of installing similar systems.

Rome's city hall has hired a Spanish company called Cemusa, which is specialized in urban advertising (billboards, bus stops...), to provide this service. Clear Channel provides Barcelona's service and JCDecaux is doing the same in France.

The initial plans are a modest deployment of 250 bicycles in 22 stations, which will be placed in Rome's historical center, starting January 2008. Should this pilot program work, Rome's City Hall will deploy more than 20,000 vehicles around the entire city.

[Source: Europa Press via Econoticias]

[Edited: Thanks to Robert for the correction]

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