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The Alpes-Maritimes caters fairly well for cyclists and has a slowly growing network of road cycling tracks (pistes cyclables) connecting Nice - via the airport - with St-Laurent-du-Var, Cagnes-sur-Mer and Villeneuve Loubet.
Nice has a self-service bicycle rental system, Vélo Bleu, which provides an ecological way of getting round the town. There are over 1700 bicycles in the system and 175 bicycle stations in the area. All bicycles are available 24/7 every day of the year. Users pay a flat fee for the subscription, based on the subscription duration, as well as a fee based on the length of time the bike is used. The first 30 minutes is free.
Bikes are available to subscribers only. Subscription periods available are: one day, seven days, one month and one year.
Subscriptions for one day or one week
There are three ways to buy a short-term subscription:
Subscriptions for one month or one year
There are three ways to buy long-term subscriptions:
A discount is available for one year subscriptions, but to be eligible, the subscription must be submitted in the post or in person at a Velo Bleu agency
Annual subscribers to Ligne d'Azur bus services get reductions on the annual Vélo Bleu subscription fee, however subscription must be completed at a Velo Bleu office in Nice or Cagnes-sur-Mer. The existing Lignes d'Azur subscriber's card is activated to enable the holder to use the Vélo Bleu system.
Payment for time used is made by bank account debit on the 20th of each month, or every Thursday, depending on how the account was set up.
The bicycles are available for use to anyone over the age of 14, with a minimum height of 1m45 and a maximum of 1m95 and weighing less than 120 Kg.
To release a bicycle at a bike station, select the bike, use the touch-screen machine and select louer un vélo. The rental can then be activated either by using the Vélo Bleu or Ligne d'Azur card or by mobile telephone. At some rental stations, only a credit or debit card is required. The number to dial will be displayed on the screen.
Select the period of access needed.
Select a bicycle and unlock it.
Once the bicycle is unlocked, it must be removed from the stand within 30 seconds. After that, the lock will reactivate and the release procedure must be restarted.
To return the bicycle, take it to any Vélo Bleu station with available space. Activate the touch screen and select restituer. Attach the cable and wait for the confirmation message on the screen.
If there is no room at the selected depot, swipe the Vélo Bleu card or call the number on the screen to qualify for 15 minutes extra time to find another depot. The touch-screen machine has information about the nearest station with available space to park the bike.
Bicycles may be rented for a maximum of 24 consecutive hours, after which time a penalty fee is charged.
If the bicycle is stolen, it must be reported by using the contact form or by calling Allo Vélo Bleu, giving details on where the bike was left, date and time. Within 48 hours the incident should also be reported to the police, and a copy should be sent to Vélo Bleu.
If the bicycle is lost, a penalty is due (plus 24 hours rental charges if the loss is not declared to Vélo Bleu).
In the event of a loss of a Vélo Bleu card, call the hotline. A new subscription card will be sent.