One of the best resources in Nice is the Velo Bleu self service bike rental scheme that the city commissioned in 2009, with 175 stations in Nice, Cagnes sur Mer and St Laurent du Var. At a cost of €1 per day you can use a bike as much as you wish for up to 30 minutes a time. You can take a bike from one stand and drop it off at another, it is extremely easy to use once you understand the process.
You can get an access number for €1 a day, €5 for a week, €10 a month or finally €25 a year
This access code allows you to use a bike anytime from any station, for 30 minutes at a time for free. If you go over the free 30 minutes, the next 30 minutes costs you €1. But the tip here is to simply return the bike before the 30 minutes are up and rehire a new bike straight away. If it’s a long trip you can look ahead on the app and find reachable locations where you can swap them out.
How To Sign Up?
Click here to be taken directly to the online form where you sign up and pay with a card. You will then be able to hire a bike at any station by calling a free number at the station and selecting your bike. If you sign up for a month or yearly package they will send you a contactless card by mail.
At a bike station with a cell phone or credit card
At Any Bike Station you call the number (04 3000 3001, or if using an international phone remember to add in the country prefix of 0033), you will then be asked to type in your credit card info, and that’s it, each time you want to hire a bike, you will turn on the bike station terminal and call the number, you will be happy to know that the call is free.
At some new bike stations, you can now pay with your credit card as Veloway have and are adding more bike stations that take credit cards, so you don’t even need a phone. (Take note though this only works if you have a credit card with a microchip) You can by the €1 one-day pass or the €5-week pass, and you can also pay for several bikes at the same time if there are a few of you.
At the Offices (Monthly and Yearly Passes)
This is one of the easiest ways to get a card, yes you have to go all the way to the office but it does make things less complicated and means you get your contactless card immediately.
In Nice, the Thiers agency, is located17 avenue Thiers. The opening hours are as follows: Monday to Friday from 8 am to 7 pm and Saturday from 8 am to 3 pm. Closed on Sundays and public holidays
In Cagnes Sur Mer, Line d’Azur agency, located at17 avenue Renoir. The opening hours are as follows: Tuesday to Friday from 9:00 to 12:00 and from 14:00 to 17:30 / Closed Monday, Saturday, Sunday and public holidays
Actually Getting the Bike
When you arrive at a station pick a bike (check the tires, maybe even lift up the back and turn the pedals to make sure all is ok) then turn on the screen the bike is plugged into.
You have the option to change the instructions to several different languages. If you have the Velo Bleu contactless card you just wave it over the sensor or if you have a code you enter it, or you call the number on your cell phone (the call won’t pick up).
Finally, the bike plug will be released and on the screen you will also have the combination for the bike lock, take note of it, or actually put it into the lock immediately so that it is free and if you do need to lock it up and have forgotten the code it will be there. Remember stolen or lost bikes are at your expense, of €150
Returning the Bike
When you arrive at the bike station find a vacant bike spot, sit the bike into the rack and turn on the screen. Select ‘Return a bike’ aka in French ‘Retour a Velo’ then select the numbered slot you want to put the cable back into, push the cable in and push for a few seconds, then when it tells you, give it a pull to make sure it caught and your done.
If you are indeed using our tip of swapping bikes out after 30 mins in order to avoid charges, we recommend in your planning of the next station that you try to arrive around the 25 minute mark so you have time to deal with any issues with the screen or if (hopefully not) the stand is full. If this happens you can turn on the screen and use it to look for a nearby stand with space and if using a card you can swipe it and get an extra free 15 minutes grace to get you and the bike to the new stand.
Download the Velo Bleu smartphone application for App Apple iOS only, not yet available for Android.