As European capitals grow more congested with commuters, Paris is preparing to get people across the city via electric water taxis that operate along the river Seine.
A startup company called SeaBubbles says it hopes to reduce urban congestion in the French capital by operating a number of small, gull-winged water taxis that look like Teslas hovering on water. It says the high-tech, emissions-free boats operate at the speed of a normal car and costs the price of a taxi.
“We hope that the first boats can be launched in the spring of 2020,” said SeaBubbles co-founder Anders Bringdal. “We believe that pollution and global gridlock are not only threatening our welfare, but are ultimately threatening people’s freedom of mobility.”
Each taxi can carry up to four passengers and be ferried between points along the city’s wide central river. However, it remains to be seen how many vehicles can be used – “20, 30 or 40 would be great,” Bringdal said.
Before the service can begin operation, Paris authorities will need to give the green light. The offer would probably first be directed at Paris tourists who want to explore the city from the Seine.
Bringdal, who comes from Sweden, said that Paris has a special significance for his company because it is located there. But the service is also conceivable in other cities on the waterfront: “Hamburg would be fantastic,” he said. – dpa