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 $8.27 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.
Lime's dockless scooters have arrived in Melbourne. Can they succeed in a market where oBike, ofo and countless others have failed? It's a solid maybe from me. pic.twitter.com/kjpUQY5w2T
— David Swan (@swan_legend) March 28, 2019
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.