PARK AND RIDE
ON AN ELECTRIC SCOOTER
Vinci, as in Leonardo da, is a massive French construction company and car parking conglomerate operating across the world, including the UK, where it conducts a number of high tariff parking sites in London, and acts as a contractor for local authority parking enforcement.
These are not universally popular people, and one campaign group in Dundee has been lambasting their high charges for a hospital car park they operate. Arguing that the hospital facility was built with public money, and now through the privatisation process, they are able to scoop up easy profits.
But what has this to do with motorcycling you are entitled to ask?
At one of the Vinci Paris car parks in Paris, in the business district La Defense, they are offering an electric scooter hire service so that people can move around far more easily than they would be able to in a car. As some readers may know, Paris is a city where the streets are filled with scooters zipping around and through the congestion. Part of a country wide culture where motorcycling is more integrated and accepted.
The scooters have a range between 60 and 100 kilometers, which should be more than enough to zap from meeting to meeting or district to district. A helmet is supplied with the bike and a cloth hair cap to protect one's carefully tended coifure. Scooters can be reserved on line for the hire time required. A code is then sent to the hirer, which can be entered into a keyboard on the scooter to enable it. Oh yes, the rental rate: 2 Euros for fifteen minutes.
This system would be ideal for cities such as London and Manchester. Will some imaginative local or transport authority in the UK take up this idea? Not worth holding your breath for, but it's predicted to take off in France. Look out for the service if you're in Paris or one of their other big cities.
More information is available at www.cityscoot.eu and the Google translator will magic it into English.
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