Tram to offer free bike rental

In a new initiative aimed at promoting greener forms of travel, the company operating the Athens tram, Tram SA, is to start lending bicycles to commuters using the network’s coastal route. The pilot program will allow tram passengers to use a bicycle for two hours without charge. Commuters can pick up a bicycle and helmet from a special kiosk opposite the Trocadero stop by showing tram officials a validated ticket and leaving their police identification card or driving license as a guarantee. The kiosk will operate between 4 and 7 p.m. from Monday to Friday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. If the scheme is popular, it will be extended. Public bicycle rental programs in other European cities have seen varying levels of success. A scheme introduced in Paris in 2007 has finally taken off after a bumpy start marred by the theft and vandalism of thousands of bicycles.

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