Wednesday 23 October 2019

Paris tests new bubble-shaped water taxi

Designers hope to run the SeaBubble commercially in the French capital and other cities starting next year.

SeaBubbles co-founder Sweden’s Anders Bringdal stands onboard a SeaBubble by the Eiffel Tower on the river Seine, Wednesday Sept. 18, 2019 in Paris. Paris is testing out a new form of travel – an eco-friendly bubble-shaped taxi that zips along the water, capable of whisking passengers up and down the Seine River. Dubbed Seabubbles, the vehicle is still in early stages, but proponents see it as a new model for the fast-changing landscape of urban mobility. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
SeaBubbles co-founder Sweden’s Anders Bringdal stands onboard a SeaBubble by the Eiffel Tower on the river Seine, Wednesday Sept. 18, 2019 in Paris. Paris is testing out a new form of travel – an eco-friendly bubble-shaped taxi that zips along the water, capable of whisking passengers up and down the Seine River. Dubbed Seabubbles, the vehicle is still in early stages, but proponents see it as a new model for the fast-changing landscape of urban mobility. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

By Associated Press Reporters

Paris is testing out a new form of travel: an eco-friendly bubble-shaped taxi that zips along the water.

Organisers are holding test runs on the River Seine this week as the white, oval-shaped electric hydrofoil boats that resemble tiny space shuttles glide past Paris monuments.

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SeaBubbles co-founder Anders Bringdal (Francois Mori/AP)

They can fit four passengers and, if approved, could be ordered on an app like land taxis, shared bikes and other forms of transport.

The designers hope to run the so-called SeaBubbles commercially in Paris and other cities starting next year.

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A SeaBubble water taxi passes through Paris (Francois Mori/AP)

Anders Bringdal, SeaBubbles chief executive, said: “The most important for us is no noise, no waves, no pollution. And bring them into cities that are congested.”

He said the water taxi will “not only be fun” but also makes economic sense.

“If you compare a similar size boat with an engine, you are going to run 30, 40, 50 euros an hour in fuel cost when this one costs you 3 dollars or 3 euros,” he said.

Proponents see the vehicle as a new model for the fast-changing landscape of urban mobility.

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