08/15/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Paris' Bike Rental Program Celebrates Second Birthday (VIDEO)

Velib, Paris' public bicycle rental program, celebrates its second birthday today. Velib or "bike freedom" distributes 20,000 bicycles across Paris at 1800 locations. Riders can access the bikes through a variety of payment methods: a one-day card for 1 euro, a weekly card for 5 euros, or an annual card for 29 euros. Over the past two years, Velib has been used over fifty-three million times. The 22.5 kilogram bikes are equipped with three-speed settings, a locking system, and powered by an LED light. There are currently four times as many Velib locations as Metro stations making it the newest and greenest form of public transportation in Paris. Mayor Bertrand Delanoe initiated the program to decrease Paris' pollution and to deter Parisians from relying on cars and taxis. 120,000 trips are taken daily for commutes around the city. The bikes even come equipped with a basket to transport ones daily purchases around the city, so skip the plastic bags and hop on an eco-friendly Velib!