Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

October 21, 2021
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Vivre Paris libre!

There's a bit of a revolution brewing in Paris to woo more visitors and locals to the city's streets and culture. For one, the new government of President Nicolas Sarkozy is considering making permanent exhibits at national museums, including the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay, free every day of the week, not just on Sunday. While there are certainly naysayers to the idea, supporters are impressed by numbers coming out of Britain and Denmark where free admission to permanent exhibits have increased ticket sales of temporary shows.

Not only will you be able to see the Mona Lisa for free, but you may be able to get to the museum by bike for just €1. It’s part of a program called Vélib, launched by the city’s Socialist mayor, Bertrand Delanoë, who campaigned on the promise that he would reduce car traffic by 40 percent by 2020. He first worked on the city's bike lanes – about 200 kilometres’ worth -- and now has placed 10,600 gray bicycles at 750 self-service docking stations in the city’s most popular neighbourhoods. The number is set to double by the end of the 2007.

A pass costs €1, a weekly €5 and a yearly subscription €29, with no added charges as long as each bike ride does not exceed 30 minutes. Currently the docking stations only accept credit or debit card with microchips in them – in other words, not North American ones – so hopefully the city will soon rectify this technical glitch, making the bikes accessible to all.

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