+ Wednesday October 23rd, 2019

 

While we were over in Paris covering the Huawei P30 Pro launch event, we had a bit of time to get out and explore.

Like so many modern cities, Paris has a number of ways to get around. You can walk (because it’s pretty flat), drive, take a bus, get an Uber, catch the excellent Metro system, or – thanks to some new app-activated scooters – get around on a fancy electric scooter!

Rachel and I tried a number of these options, and while the Metro was probably the most convenient, the electric scooters scattered around the heart of Paris were absolutely fantastic.

We used Bird scooters, but others travelling with us tried Lime and other brands and they all broadly operate much the same way:

  • Install the app for your desired scooter service
  • Setup an account, and add a payment method (Credit Card, Google Pay, etc)
  • Add some credit to your account to enable you to ride

Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to hire a scooter. Simply find one supported by your app (the Bird app has a handy locator function built-in to find the nearest available scooter), scan the QR code in the app, and within a moment or two the scooter unlocks and is ready to ride.

Riding these electric scooters is so easy!

Simply hop on board, push off with your feet, and then hit the accelerator lever on the right side of the handlebars, and off you go! Even with a big bloke like me on the back, the Bird scooters very easily got up to their maximum speed of 30 km/h, and Rachel found hers got up to speed even more quickly.

Sure, there’s some parts that are a bit less pleasant; Paris’ cobblestoned streets make for some unpleasant riding if you hit the larger bumps, as these scooters have virtually nothing by way of suspension. However, you can avoid the larger bumps and have a fairly pleasant ride quite easily.

The ride is pretty cheap – we rode for about half an hour and it cost €5 (or around $8.12 AUD) and was well worth the price. We’d have spent well over than on an Uber and it would’ve been half as fun.

We’d LOVE to see these electric scooters take off in Australia. Lime even held a pop-up event in Melbourne to showcase their technology but unfortunately it could only be a pop-up – these electric scooters are illegal to use in most places around Australia.

We can only hope that the various Australian governments change their mind on this; some of our cities are so perfectly designed to navigate in this way, but 19th century thinking benefits no one. Lime scooters are in Queensland (Brisbane and the Gold Coast), and we would dearly like to see them spread further south.

 

Chris Rowland   Managing Editor

Chris Rowland

Chris has been at the forefront of smartphone reporting in Australia since smartphones were a thing, and has used mobile phones since they came with giant lead-acid batteries that were "transportable" and were carried in a shoulder bag.

Today, Chris publishes one of Australia's most popular technology websites, Ausdroid. His interests include mobile (of course), as well as connected technology and how it can make all our lives easier.

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chris
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chris

Firstly 30k an hour is way too fast, e-bikes are limited to 25k by law. NSW law does not allow for motorised scooters at all on footpaths or roads so a change to the law is required before they would be allowed. Then there is the helmet, we have all seen what happens to them.

Scott
Guest
Scott

I think that a law change would be required in all Australian states and territories, it’s certainly what they had to do in Queensland. Totally agree that 30km/h is too fast, but to clarify ebikes aren’t actually limited to 25, the motor is restricted to a max of 25. Basically you can still pedal or roll downhill and take it much faster, but it won’t be the motor adding the energy. Something similar makes sense for scooters too if the motor were to cap out. Something that could help would be implementation of the ‘a metre matters’ rules that apply… Read more »

Andrew Fisher
Ausdroid Reader

Chris this is an opinion piece and should be marked as such. You are using the Ausdroid platform to push your own agenda. These type of items should be moved to your personal blog. If I wanted to hear Alan Jones speak his nonsense then I would tune in but I don’t. And I tune into Ausdroid to hear about the latest tech in the Android world, not your personal agenda.

Scott
Guest
Scott

You mean like the bit at the top that has this story filed in News & Editorial? And the link on the bottom of the page to the Ausdroid Editorial Statement in which the last paragraph quite clearly states that they reserve the right to an Editorial Opinion (Chris also being the Managing Editor of the site)? You’re comparing the occasional article on this website to listening to Alan Jones?

Andrew Fisher
Ausdroid Reader

Scott, thanks for pointing that out! I never explicitly said that it is not, I said it should be…never said it “wasn’t”.
He’s definitely no Alan Jones.

Scott
Guest
Scott

I’m surprised at the two comments that are negative towards the share schemes, but on reflection I understand where they are coming from. I found the system to be generally a positive in my admittedly limited experience, but I did make one observation quite quickly. Because they charge only by unit of time (plus a fixed unlock fee), the system encourages users to travel at as high a speed as possible to keep the trip cost down. This encourages people to cross traffic lights even when red, and pass pedestrians at some pretty high and potentially dangerous speeds. These systems… Read more »

Really
Guest
Really

Without the appropriate infrastructure and rules to support them they will fail. I’m all for disruption, specifically anything that assist with aiding our increasingly congested CBD’s but allowing these things on footpaths, just like bikes or any description cause more issues than they solve.

Dan
Guest
Dan

Yeah, the Lime scooters are also in Adelaide. Seems NSW is a bit behind other parts of Australia.

Jamie S
Guest
Jamie S

After living in Brisbane for the last year and working in the CBD my opinion of the Lime Scooters is less than favourable. Sure it seems like a great idea on paper but when you have people riding electric scooters on the footpath in the city at high speed and need to get out of their way or risk injury they become less popular. In addition to this they pollute the footpaths as people leave them anywhere when they are finished with them. They are also keeping the Push Bike paramedics busy in as people are riding them without helmets… Read more »

Scott
Guest
Scott

I just got home from a two week work trip to Brisbane and used the Lime scooters about a dozen times. They are utterly fantastic, absolutely loved them. Apparently the deputy chief minister of the ACT has indicated that he wants to legalise them in Canberra by the end of the year… And since I live there I can guarantee that if they are made legal I’ll be getting myself one ASAP

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