These curious chauffeured bicycles that have recently appeared in large cities like Paris, Lyon and also Toulouse are "taxi-bikes", a new transportation mean that has already seduced more than a few users for short distance trips!
Passengers comfortably seated and protected if needed by a hood, are driven by a cyclist.
The taxi-bikes which have a maximum speed of 25 km/h have the undeniable advantage of being able to get around on the road, on cycling lanes, and also in certain pedestrian streets which allows traffic jams to be avoided and less time to be lost.
It is a new ecological mode of transport, in the spirit of the times, as no CO2 is emitted and certain vehicles are only manufactured from recycable materials.
The benefits :
- Avoid traffic jams (cycling lanes)
- Pleasant view
Chauffeured bike service providers must hold an operating and parking authorisation for public streets as well as an insurance for transporting passengers for payment, which is proof of quality and of security.
Reservation and Price
Like the other private transport companies, the chauffeured bike services can operate via reservation but they also have the right to exercise their work in public by waiting for clients without advance reservation.
The exploitation of chauffeured bike services increases free market competition. Companies are therefore free to quote their services and prices as part of the reservation contract with the client
There are three ways to order a taxi-bike:
- Directly in the street
- By making the reservation with the transport provider
- By using the monTransport.com platform
Using monTransport.com gives the opportunity to compare prices between different service providers and to select the best one according to the your needs.
There are many ranges of "bike carriages", depending on the cities and of course the manufacturers.
They can transport two even three people and their comfort constantly increases.
Electric powered tricycles have a comfortable padded leather seat that assures a pleasant trip.
Some taxi-bikes are also equipped :
- with a storage compartment for the personal belongings of passengers
- with a footstool and/or handlebars to help getting on and coming off
- with a windscreen generally made from polycarbonate to ensure optimal safety for the driver as well as for the passengers
- with a hood in case of rain.
- with a cover
A little history
The first appearance of the taxi-bike is the second world war. Few people could allow themselves to have a car, due to the high price of petrol at this time.
Fidele Outteryck, 32 years old, creator of this ingenious invention, as he was the first to have transformed a bicycle into a taxi in 1940. By combining the characteristics of a car and of a bike, he came up with the first edition of the tuk-tuk.
Everyone then got to work to produce their own taxi-bike, within their means. The taxi-bikes were at the time of varied quality and more or less sophisticated. Some were simply just "classic" bikes that had a small trailer attached, with some small cushions by way of a bench to sit down on. Others, were completely covered with canvas in plastic given the bad weather and already had the taxi-bike aspect of today.
From 1941, taxi-bike races began to take place in Paris at the Montmartre hill and quickly became very popular.
Follows a period of development until 1950, the era during which these vehicles progressively started to disappear.
It is during this period that they moved to Asia, where the rickshaws were born, noticeably similar, before reappearing in Europe ten years ago.
Reappeared in France in Lyon in 2003, the tricycle bicycle found its place in the capital from 2007.
One of the important factors in its development in France was the decision taken in 2008 to make Perpignan an "ecological" town for 2015.
This mode of transport is not polluting and therefore fits nicely in the current "green trend"! By looking closely the taxi-bike is just a copy of the traditional Thai tuk tuk, this strange taxi made up of a scooter in the front and a car in the back, that we find now in most South East Asian countries. Most tuk tuks are motorised. The taxi-bike, is inspired by the pedal tuk tuks (pedicab), even though some have electronic assistance for ascents. It is therefore easily compared to the Indian rickshaw, non-motorised cart bike, intended for transporting people and merchandise.