It’s not quite as fetching as “The City of Light,” but thanks to a transportation trial green-lit by Mayor Anne Hidalgo, Paris may soon be known as “The City of Sea Bubbles.”
Paris, which got its “City of Light” moniker by being one of the first European cities to install gas street lighting, is aiming for another first as it plans to experiment with Sea Bubble water taxis in the Seine River next spring.
The environmentally-friendly river taxis feature hulls outfitted with foils that allow the odd-looking boats to “float” two feet above water while gliding at 18 MPH, silent and wave-free.
Created by French yachtsman Alain Thébault and Swedish windsurfer Anders Bringdal, the solar-powered vessels are made of fiberglass and foam and have enough room to carry five.
The Sea Bubble was designed to help alleviate the traffic problems in cities like New York and London but, with the backing of Mayor Hidalgo, Paris will be the first major city to give ’em a test drive.
The battery-powered boats will initially rely on drivers to operate them at a cost of around $11 per ride, but eventually will be altered to operate autonomously along the city’s waterways.
We’ll see how it goes in Paris, but if they come stateside, they could be the best way to beat surge pricing.
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