A first French city launches self-service electric cargo bikes

The Metropolis of Lyon is going to experiment for a year with the commissioning of self-service electric cargo bikes, of the two-carrier type. If the price is attractive on paper, the user journey to rent a model has been slightly complicated.

Source: Cargoroo via Lyon City Hall

In December 2022, insistent rumors from the hallway suggested that the Métropole de Lyon would be the first in France to deploy self-service electric cargo bikes. A few months later, the news was made official by the Town Hall in a press release published on its website.

Since Thursday March 16, Lyon and Villeurbanne have been welcoming twenty electric CargoVélo’vs, gradually deployed in parking lots reserved for them, without any attachment point. The municipality states:they must be taken and rested in the same placeafter each user trip.

From app to app

To take advantage of it, it is necessary to respect a user path that is not the most practical. You have to download the Vélo’v application then find an available CargoVélo’v. So far so good. By selecting a model, the application then redirects you to the Cargoroo app from which you are required to create an account to finalize the rental.

Cargoroo is a Dutch operator and the official partner of this project. It was therefore logically integrated into the rental process, even if it would have been more practical to reserve your two-wheeler directly from CargoVélo’v. It’s a small detail that shouldn’t be a deal breaker either.

✅? From March 16, 20 electrically assisted cargo bikes will be deployed and parked in dedicated locations, in the immediate vicinity of Vélo’v stations.

? Some have had their eye lately on the preparation of these stations. https://t.co/qmgm6t54aj

— Bruno Bernard (@brunobernard_fr) March 15, 2023

The rates for this service are attractive: 8 euro cents per minute, or 4.80 euros per hour to transport one or more children, food shopping or specific equipment. As a reminder, the freighter deployed here is of the twin-carrier type: its nose gear is elongated to accommodate a loading box.

A one-year experimental project

The town hall further states that:the Vélo’v teams will ensure day-to-day operation and maintenance, in particular monitoring and recharging the batteries of these cargo bikes, as well as customer relations“. This project is experimental, lasting one year and interspersed with an evaluation after 6 months of commissioning.

Below is the complete list of stations offering a CargoVélo’v:

  • Aveyron (Lyon 1st)
  • Croix-Rousse/Perfetti (Lyon 1st)
  • Meissonnier (Lyon 1st)
  • Saint Antoine/Grenette (Lyon 2nd)
  • Place Guichard (Lyon 3rd)
  • Paul Bert/Garibaldi (Lyon 3rd)
  • Place Saint-Anne (Lyon 3rd)
  • Lumière Institute (Lyon 3rd)
  • Place Aristide Briand (Lyon 3rd)
  • Place Bertone (Lyon 4th)
  • Philippe de Lassalle/Pillement (Lyon 4th)
  • Carpet Square (Lyon 4th)
  • Place Edgar Quinet (Lyon 6th)
  • Lafayette/Inkermann (Lyon 6th)
  • Town hall of the 7th (Lyon 7th)
  • Town hall of the 8th (Lyon 8th)
  • Charpennes (Villeurbanne)
  • Town hall of Villeurbanne (Villeurbanne)
  • Totem (Villeurbanne)
  • Recognition Square (Villeurbanne)

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