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Electric scooters launch in Paris

PARIS (AFP/APP): The boulevards of Paris, already bustling with a dizzying range of transport devices, are set to feature a new shared electric scooter system that has swept the US and is now heading for Europe.

California-based Lime launched a pilot scheme for the two-wheeled powered scooters on Thursday in several districts of the French capital and will roll them out across the city.

“Very quickly our fleet will grow to respond to demand,” Lime’s director for France, Arthur-Louis Jacquier, told AFP.

The US start-up, which already operates bike-sharing schemes in Berlin and Frankfurt, has big ambitions in Europe as it competes with other fast-expanding American rivals such as Bird.

The new e-scooters arrive as Paris faces problems with two of its flagship transport innovations over the last decade which forged the city’s reputation as a pioneer for new forms of commuting.

The city’s bike-sharing scheme Velib’, launched in 2007 and since copied around the world, is in disarray after a change of contractor led to major problems and a shortage of bikes.

An electric car-sharing system known as Autolib, launched in 2011, could be at the end of the road after it ran up major losses that neither local authorities, nor private operator Bollore are prepared to absorb.

 

 

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