• France's news in English

Plans for Paris scooter-sharing scheme unveiled

Ben McPartland · 10 Mar 2014, 11:05

Published: 10 Mar 2014 11:05 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Parisians could soon have access to up to 5,000 scooters parked at 700 different stations around the city and surrounding areas, according to plans revealed this weekend.

After current mayor Bertrand Delanoë rolled out the Velib' bike-sharing scheme and then the ground-breaking Autolib' car version, Anne Hidalgo, the current favourite to succeed him in the hot seat at the Town Hall, wants to take the next step - on two motorized wheels.

“The most important thing is not to see this as a 'pie in the sky' idea,” she said. “This system already exists elsewhere in different versions, in Barcelona and San Francisco. We want to adapt it for Paris, where there is a growing desire to get around on two motorized wheels.”

Scootlib', as the proposed scheme has been dubbed, was initially put forward by the far-left, "Parti Radical de Gauche" (PRG), and is aimed at tackling the lack of parking spaces for scooters in the capital. But the idea has been taken on by Hidalgo, who revealed details of the scheme in the Journal du Dimanche on Sunday.

The scheme would offer those living in the capital and the surrounding suburbs an alternative way of getting around the city and would work in the same way as Autolib' and Vélib' with users able to pick up and drop off scooters at specific docking stations around the city.

The scooters would be electric and therefore silent and environmentally friendly and would have be able to travel up to a maximum of 90km, on one battery charge. The system would work in a similar way to the Vélib bike scheme, with the price of hiring a scooter ranging from between €3 and €10 per hour.

The machines would contain a GPS and would be better protected against thieves, Hidalgo says. They would also come with a helmet inside, that would be regularly disinfected and cleaned.

Renting out the scooters would be done via smartphones or on the internet.

According to a study by a French transport union in the capital, the use of scooters and motorbikes has increased by 34 percent within the last ten years in the Paris region which has led to a serious shortfall in parking spaces. This might explain why walking through the capital’s streets can often feel like an obstacle course due to the number of scooters you have to weave around.

Until recently in France it wasn’t necessary to have a license when driving a scooter with an engine size smaller than 50cm3, however a new French law introduced in January 2013 requires new drivers to follow a formal theory and practical license programme.

Story continues below…

The hugely popular Vélib’ is the system of city rental bikes that was launched in 2007 in Paris. For an annual fee of just €29 subscribers can cycle for free on all journeys under 30 minutes. Autolib’, the self-servicehttp://images.intellitxt.com/ast/adTypes/icon1.png electric cars, followed in 2011. Before being allowed access to the eco-friendly cars, drivers must first register their driver’s license in an Autolib’ office.

Rival candidate for mayor Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet said Scootlib’ was not a priority for Paris.

“You would have to make certain that this scheme is not just something that will increase profits for some entrepreneur,” said KNM, referring to the Autolib' scheme which is managed by business tycoon Vincent Bolloré. 

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France to clear 'Jungle' migrant camp Monday
Migrants will be bussed from the camp to some 300 temporary accommodation centres around France. Photo: Denis Charlet/ AFP

The "Jungle" migrant camp on France's northern coast will be cleared of its residents on Monday before being demolished, authorities said Friday.

How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations.

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available