Car share partners with Parisian taxi service to tackle congestion

PARIS -- With multiple efforts to reduce traffic in Paris, a new rideshare program teams up with a major taxi service to attempt a more zen approach to car transport.
Written by Bryan Pirolli, Correspondent (Paris)

PARIS – Cityzen Mobility, an innovative new startup has partnered with a major taxi company in Paris to help ease transportation while limiting carbon imprints.  The partnership with Alpha Taxis is the first for Cityzen Mobility, a newly-launched car-share website.  The site caters to both daily travelers as well as to a clientele of elderly and reduced-mobility passengers.

Cityzen Mobility is a median that uses existing car services and the Alpha taxi fleet to group travelers on the same route into the same vehicle.  It’s an online carpool organizer that seeks to reduce traffic in the streets by decreasing the number of cars dispatched throughout the city.

Traffic is a hot subject in Paris with various city-led initiatives aimed at reducing the number of cars on streets.  A major critic of one of these programs, the much anticipated public car service Autolib, is that it adds cars to already crowded streets.  Proponents of the Autolib say that Parisians will opt to subscribe to the system instead of buying cars while critics claim that adding more cars is not the solution.

Cityzen Mobility hopes to be an alternative solution.  Creator Guillaume Mathieu started Cityzen Mobility in an attempt to bring companies together to tackle traffic congestion.  “My idea is not to add cars to the roads that are full, way too full,” he said.

Mathieu said that after working for ten years in public transportation he saw a need for change.  “Communal transportation was difficult and I wanted to start a new organization to ease transportation for everyone,” he said.

By using the site, users are not only helping the environment, but also their wallets.  Passengers also benefit from lower fares negotiated through the partnership with Alpha Taxi saving between 30-50% depending on how many people ride together.

One of the goals, according to Mathieu, is to use the partnerships created to help raise money to finance the transportation for the reduced-mobility and elderly who don’t always have the money to afford reliable services.

According to their site, the company has 1200 vehicles ready to organize pick ups.  The catch is that reservations must be made no later than at 5PM the day before, making last-minute eco-friendly rides impossible.  Subscribing to the site is free and reservations can be made online or over the telephone.  Cityzen Mobility then organizes the trips for the next day and sends an email confirmation to all passengers on the automobile’s route.

Mathieu hopes that Cityzen Mobility will attract other transport businesses in the near future.  “We’re completely open to creating new partnerships with existing companies,” he said, and with Alpha Taxi and City Hall on his side, he’s hopeful that Parisians will embrace Cityzen Mobility.

Photo: Tout-Paris.org

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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