Paris is testing out a new form of travel: an eco-friendly bubble-shaped taxi that zips along the water up and down the Seine River.
Organizers are holding test runs with oval-shaped electric hydrofoil boats that resemble tiny space shuttles gliding past Paris monuments.
Each can fit four passengers, and if they get approved, will be able to be ordered on an app like land taxis or other forms of transport.
Its designers hope to operate the so-called Seabubbles commercially in Paris and other cities starting next year.
Anders Bringdal, SeaBubbles CEO, told The Associated Press that “the most important for us is no noise, no waves, no pollution. And bring them into cities that are congested.”
Bringdal 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 euros,” he said.
Proponents see the vehicle as a new model for the fast-changing landscape of urban mobility.
Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief
An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.