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ANR funded project

Sociétés Innovantes, innovation, économie, modes de vie (INOV) 2012

Automated self-service bike share schemes. A socio-technical innovation and its social appropriations

Bike share schemes (BSS) in urban areas have sprawled around the world at an accelerated pace over the last years, and announce unprecedented transformations in contemporary mobility and urban lives. This innovation, similar to an “individual public transportation means”, turns the user into the very producer of his/her journey and the co-producer of the innovation's evolution. It has found a popular success and as such calls for significant knowledge gains regarding various directions – planning, operational management, public policy assessment and analysis of social transformations. Facing these expectations, analyses currently available remain mostly too broad in their scopes (the new forms of urbanity) or on the other end too much operations-oriented (technical efficiency) within a very segmented disciplinary frame.

VEL'INNOV aims at jointly grasping the various dimensions of this innovation (considered as a socio-technical system to be specified), at analysing how it is socially appropriated, and at modelling its actual uses. The research team is strongly multi-disciplinary and gathers a large scope of scientific skills (transportation economics, sociology, geography and geomatics, statistical physics and complex systems, signal statistics, data mining and computer science). The case study will be that of Vélo'v® that has been running in Lyon since 2005 and was one of the first large scale BSS implemented. Some comparisons and assessment of relevance of our results will be performed with regard to another Cyclocity BSS in Europe, the BIXI BSS in Montreal and the newly implemented Car2Go automated car share scheme in Lyon.

The project stands out by the particular emphasis laid on articulating the research (problem and corpus) in a multidisciplinary manner; this will contribute to generating a novel angle from which to analyse the subject of appropriation and production of innovation and the subject of urban mobility. This research project will take advantage of a radically original data corpus that combines an outstanding database (records of all the journeys from the beginning of the system implementation, anonymized data on subscribers) with quantitative and qualitative user surveys designed to be complementary. Three scientific objectives have been set:
- characterizing the BSS as an evolutionary socio-technical system and modelling it;
- analysing the individual and collective appropriation patterns of this socio-technical innovation and the transformations of practices and representations it induces;
- developing, on this particular case study, a set of tools and statistical methods based on complex-systems analysis and setting-up a particular frame for interdisciplinary collaboration.

VEL'INNOV is notable for its partnership as it associates an interdisciplinary blend of six research centres from the Université de Lyon and the Ecole Polytechnique de Montréal with a worldwide industrial operator (JCDecaux/Cyclo-City) and a local public authority (Greater Lyon) – both of whom support the project and are operationally involved in its development.


ENS Lyon Laboratoire de Physique -ENS de Lyon

Grand Lyon Communauté Urbaine de Lyon - Direction de la Voirie

JC Decaux Cyclocity JC Decaux Cyclocity

LET-CNRS Laboratoire d'Economie des Transports - CNRS

LIRIS - INSA de Lyon Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon - Laboratoire d'Informatique en Image et Systèmes d'information

ANR grant: 293 675 euros
Beginning and duration: février 2013 - 36 mois


ANR Programme: Sociétés Innovantes, innovation, économie, modes de vie (INOV) 2012

Project ID: ANR-12-SOIN-0001

Project coordinator:
Monsieur Charles RAUX (Laboratoire d'Economie des Transports - CNRS)


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The project coordinator is the author of this abstract and is therefore responsible for the content of the summary. The ANR disclaims all responsibility in connection with its content.