It always seems like a good idea. From Bali to Bruges, and Paris too, people love the idea of exploring via motorbike. That is, until they run into a ditch, or end up in oncoming traffic. Uber has partnered with Cityscoot, a longstanding moped transportation company in France, to offer moped rides to the public at large. Like unlocking a lime scooter, you tap your location, find a moped and off you go. The only question is how far…
This new Uber concept via Cityscoot is just like Lime, Bird, or any of the scooter ride shares, just with an electric, fully equipped moped instead.
You enter your location within Paris, you get shown a map of mopeds, you select the nearest one and you are presented with an unlock code. Once unlocked, you’ll get a helmet and a hi-vis vest too.
The concept of eliminating car congestion and emissions in Paris is a good one, and with all electric mopeds, this is definitely a more environmentally conscious option. At $0.32 per minute, it’s a cheap one too. But traffic in Paris is something few tourists fully understand, and part of that has to do with the incredible roundabouts.
The concept is great, and Cityscoot has been more than a concept for years. But a service catered towards Europeans who know local driving customs and offering something to the world at large are two very different things.
Uber has pledged to offer tutorials, but anyone picking up a moped will instantly be thrown into the chaos that is driving in Paris. All along Avenue President Wilson or Rond-Ponte Champs-Elysées you’ll find yourself faced with multi directional traffic, aggressive cars, and more aggressive people on motorbikes who actually know what they’re doing.
There are just so many places where seven junctures converge into two, and you literally don’t know where to look to avoid a collision.
It’s great to cut down on emissions and there isn’t a person on earth who wouldn’t support reducing road congestion, but a rider without a clue is perhaps the most dangerous thing of all. Not just for the rider on the moped, but for all traffic on the roads.
If you plan on saving a few pennies by opting to drive yourself in an e-moped on your next visit, instead of using UberX, or god forbid – walking in one of the world’s most walkable cities, brush up on traffic laws first.
Fortunately, If you fall, Uber is automatically alerted, and will presumably then send help…