‘Free’ scooters planned in Paris

Forget Vélib' as mayor candidate reveals bid to set up network of Scootlib’ electric scooters across capital

UP TO 5,000 electric scooters could join the 18,600 Vélib' public hire bikes and 2,000 Autolib' electric cars on the streets of Paris as mairie candidate Anne Hidalgo wants to coax people out of their own cars.

Ms Hidalgo, the deputy mayor who wants to succeed Bertrand Delanoë, says 66% of people in Paris do not have their own car and those that do drive cars to work leave them sitting unused for 92% of the time.

The Scootlib’ could fill the gap between the Vélib' and Autolib' and she says they could also be much more attractive to young people, with 50cc machines able to be used by 14-year-olds who have passed the brevet de sécurité Routière and 125cc scooters by 16-year-olds who have passed their A1 licence.

The idea is not new as public hire scooters are already in operation in Barcelona and San Francisco but she says there will need to be a widescale consultation, especially with parents’ groups.

Drivers’ groups will also have to be consulted as creating more Scootlib’ stations would mean taking away parking spaces and both Ms Hidalgo and her UMP rival Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet have promised to create up to 20,000 more parking spaces in the capital.

Between 3,000 and 5,000 Scootlib’ are planned, with 700 recharging stations across the capital and possibly in the suburbs.

Costing between €3 and €10 per hour, they would have a range of up to 90km and be fitted with GPS trackers to stop theft.

Each scooter would have a helmet attached, either on the handlebar, under the seat or in the topbox and these would be regularly cleaned. A deposit would also be charged to avoid theft.