If I hadn’t read it in the New York Times, I would think it was a joke. If Velib is a success, why not an Autolib!? Why not a TrainLib and PlaneLib while they are at it. While Velib seems like such an organically (in more ways than one) good idea, AutoLib sounds like a dumb idea, and not one that would solve the major issue of traffic congestion in Paris. Though it might ease the shortage of parking and garage spaces.
While ZipCars and other short term rentals are working elsewhere, like in San Francisco, the idea is fraught with many challenges, among them cost and liability. This hardly seems an area where even a strong socialist-leaning city government would want to tread.
Meanwhile, we leave for France, with a shiny new chip-enabled credit card ready to mount our trusty Velibs and roll all over Paris.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: July 29, 2008
PARIS (AP) — Parisians and tourists so eagerly embraced a citywide bike-sharing plan that was begun a year ago that Mayor Bertrand Delanoë is proposing a four-wheeled version, using electric cars.
Under the plan, a driver could pick up a car on the Right Bank, snake up the slopes of Montmartre, then drop it off — and pay only for the minutes spent behind the wheel. But cars, even electric ones, are already proving more divisive than bikes.