June 21, 2018 / 7:32 AM / 3 months ago

Lime to launch dock-free electric scooters in Paris

June 21 (Reuters) - California-based bicycle sharing service Lime said it will launch a fleet of dock-free electric scooters in Paris starting June 22.

The dockless bike-sharing schemes allow riders who sign up on their smartphones to rent bikes using an app that helps them locate cycles left by previous users.

The Lime-S will cost Parisians a minimum 1 euro to begin a ride.

In December last year, Lime said it was expanding into the European market by introducing services in Frankfurt and Zurich.

Paris has been a test bed for new mobility solutions in the past few years, with several foreign players, including Chinese bike share operators, launching services in the French capital.

However, Paris' pioneering Velib bicycle hire service has ground to a virtual standstill after the new concession holder failed to install revamped docking stations on schedule.

Due to a dearth of docking stations and bikes, Parisians have returned to using public transport or cars, or the new Asian-owned dockless bike-sharing schemes introduced during the switch between the old and new Velib.

The head of the Paris Autolib Velib Metropole syndicate last week said she would propose ending the contract with the Bollore group due to budget shortfalls and operational problems with the electric car hire scheme.

Reporting by Mekhla Raina in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair

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