I was in Paris when Vélib was introduced, and marvelled at this extraordinary public bicycle rental programme that overnight seemed to take off like 'wild-fire.'
Reciprocity at its best - JCDecaux advertising corporation scratches Paris' back for exclusive control of many of the city-owned hoardings and in return Paris scratches JCDecaux's back for all the revenue from the programme as well as a fee of close to US$5 million a year!!
So as is their wont, the 'start-up' / 'blue-sky'people brought the concept to our shores in boardroom-whiteboard form, and both Brisbane and Melbourne comtemplated it seriously, several times, BUT unsurprisingly, given that no bicycle organisation can ever get their heads out of their helmets, the last little logistical leap could not be taken into bicycle freedom - sigh! - so infantile!