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France offers bicycle repair subsidies for post-lockdown

A €50-per-person incentive to help get the country riding again

To keep vehicle traffic and pollution down after the nation-wide lockdown expires on May 11, the French government is offering €50 (C$76.57) per person for bicycle repairs as part of a larger cycling-funding scheme. More people cycling will also prevent crowding on public transportation. The country has been under stay-at-home orders since mid-March.

Thursday’s announcement by Minister of Ecological Transition Elisabeth Borne also outlined plans for temporary bike parking and cycling coaching sessions, with C$30,627,500 allotted for the scheme. On her Twitter she said that she wanted the bicycle to be “the queen of deconfinement”.

Borne’s repair plans involves the Federation of Bicycle Users (FUB), which will register a network of more than 3000 mechanics on its website. Citizens will bring in their rides and the mechanics will make €50 of repairs and then be reimbursed.

Paris will accelerate its plan to have the city become more cycle-friendly by 2024: 650-km of cycleways—including a number of pop-up lanes–will be in place by May 11.

France’s sports ministry also weighed in on Thursday, decreeing that joggers and cyclists will have to stay at least ten metres from one another once the lockdown is lifted. Riders will have a time limit to cycle, must do so within 100-km of home and can’t roll in groups bigger than ten; again. Professionals must do their training alone.