“A revolution in efficiency that will improve our quality of life” – this is how Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe named the new automobile-sharing program inspired by Velib’ – a three-year-old bicycle-sharing program, which proved to be a success.
It seems that Paris keeps its elite standard not only on the artistic level. The target of 3,000 electric cars, planned to appear in the city and suburbs by the end of 2011 – is to fight air pollution, thus making Paris the first major city with a car-sharing program of this size.
As a reply to former Velib’, Autolib’ was chosen by city officials to be developed by an industrial conglomerate run by French billionaire entrepreneur Vincent Bollore, helped by Italian car designer Pininfarina. Blue as their names suggest, the “Bluecars” created by Group Bollore will be placed in 1,200 stations in metropolitan Paris, being available around the clock. In order to drive the Bluecars, a driver’s license is needed, along with a subscription fee.
Around 800 people will be employed in this service, supported by Bollore, with a $80.2 million investment. Valued $66,800 each, the docking stations will be financially covered by city and regional authorities.
Based on the same system applied to Velib’, the cars can be reserved in advance and returned to any station, with options for daily, weekly and annual subscriptions. Tourists will also have the possibility to sign up for The Bluecars, as long as their driver’s license is recognized in France.