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50 years of history

50 years of passion and innovation
  On the occasion of its 50th Anniversary, JCDecaux will trace 50 years of history, passion and innovation in a series of articles addressing the key stages of the Group, which was created in 1964 by Jean-Claude Decaux and became No.1 worldwide in Outdoor advertising.
 

An eco-friendly, urban mode of transport, rooted in everyday city life

Since it was founded in 1964, JCDecaux has been aware of the environmental aspects of its business and has not only been working to make cities more attractive, but also to offer furniture promoting Sustainable Development before the concept even existed (litter bins, street furniture equipped with receptacles to collect glass or used batteries). One of the most emblematic innovations of JCDecaux's drive towards eco-friendly initiatives has been the launch of self-service bicycle hire.

In the early 2000s, JCDecaux's history took a real turn, positioning the Group as a pioneer in a new market – eco-friendly transport.

In 2003, in Vienna (Austria), JCDecaux launched the first individual means of public transport– the Cyclocity self-service bicycle hire programme. With this system, the Group began to offer cities and their residents an eco-friendly means of transport in the very heart of the city, which provided a solution to environmental concerns and revolutionised traditional public transport.

  In May 2005, four decades after Jean-Claude Decaux had signed the first advertising bus shelter contract there, Lyon became the first French city to adopt Cyclocity, which was re-named Vélo’v for the residents of Lyon and Villeurbanne. The initiative was so popular that, just six weeks after its launch, 10,000 riders had already signed up and the bicycles had travelled 40,000 km, which is equivalent to a trip around the world.
 
The largest self-service bicycle hire system in the world, Vélib’, was launched in Paris, in July 2007, by Bertrand Delanoë. JCDecaux called upon designer Patrick Jouin to provide Parisians with uniquely-designed and aesthetically-pleasing stations and bicycles, which blended seamlessly into the French capital's urban landscape. Among other awards, Vélib’ received the Ingenuity Award in 2012 in New York in the Infrastructure category. This is a highly prestigious award by which the Financial Times and Citi reward companies which propose innovative solutions to the challenges of modern urban infrastructure.  

The bicycles, which have different names, designs and colour schemes from city to city, have been hired over 350 million times since the project was launched in 2003. This success is due to its ease of use (payment by bank card, links to city transport passes), complete city coverage, high-quality maintenance and reliable equipment.

Located in 69 cities and 10 countries across Europe, as well as in Australia and Japan, the system has a total of 47,000 self-service bicycles available for hire. By offering cities and their residents an eco-friendly means of transport, JCDecaux, No. 1 worldwide for self-service bicycle hire, provides the potential to incorporate a tangible environmental initiative and a new style of city life into the options for urban living.



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