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You Liked Vélib? Then You'll Love Autolib!

Posted by Slavito in Paris on 21/Aug/2008
Flying high on the success of Vélib, a bike-rental program that turned one year old in July, Paris is thinking about launching another effort, dubbed Autolib. According to a report by the Associated Press, this program will launch by early 2010 with a fleet of 4,000 electric cars (half of them reserved for areas outside the Périphérique) and will allow anybody to quickly rent a car from one of 700 planned stations and drop them off at any other.

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Autolib While some people (including many members of the Green party) are opposed to the idea on the grounds that more cars (even electric cars) means more congestion on the streets, to me this argument looks erroneous: many of the Autolib cars are likely to be driven by people who already drive and effortless sharing is clearly a better option than circling around in one's own car looking for a parking spot.

P.S. I can't help but notice that the program seems to be the first step toward the vision outlined in Moshe Safdie's book, "The City After the Automobile". In the book, Safdie described something that he called the "utility vehicle" - a standardized car that belongs to a metropolitan area-wide car sharing system that would help bridge the divide between the car-centered culture and public transportation, giving people the utilmate freedom in how they move around their metro area.

Links and Sources

  1. The City After The Automobile: An Architect's Vision (Paperback) by Moshe Safdie (

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