First News
Volume:8, Number:05
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Around The World 4
THIS WEEK

Pollution-free Rickshaws Taking Over Paris

According to daily Le Figaro, of some 500 bicycle taxis currently sprinting in the Parisian streets, fewer than a 100 have been declared to the city authorities. Other newspapers report that a great majority of illegal ‘rickshawallas’ are from eastern European countries like Yugoslavia or Bulgaria. Their unlawful tariffs vary from 15 to 20 euros for about 15 minutes of travel, not much different from a regular automobile taxi — and in some cases even higher. “But automobile taxis pollute,” says Bernard Lepère, a 30-year-old Frenchman who has formed his own ‘transport company’ in partnership with his brother Louis. The difference here is that the two brothers have officially registered their enterprise and confined themselves to the Parisian suburb where they live. Lepère brothers explain both their bicycle taxis are fitted with hybrid motors. About 10 minutes of peddling charges the battery and then a fairly comfortable distance can be covered without any effort at all.

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