Paris Takes To The River For A New Mode Of Transportation

The City of Paris, France recently announced that an electric river transport line will open on the River Seine in April of 2024. The initial 16.5 kilometer (~ 10 mile) line will open in time for the start of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, with the opening ceremony taking place on the river. The new lines aim to: offer an alternative to traditional transport; decongest bridges; promote a modal shift from car to boat-bike; and connect transport networks on both sides of the banks of the Seine.

“River mobility must be complementary and competitive. The boat must be part of the user’s choice of transport, in the same way as the RER, buses or car. The boat is ultimately the most reliable and shortest way between these two cities, as the journey will take 25 minutes, at any time of the day!” said Dany Carvalho, co-founder of Rivercat.

The new service will consist of six autonomous electric boats from HYKE – Hydrolift Smart City Ferries, a Norwegian zero-emission waterborne mobility start-up. Each boat is capable of carrying 100 passengers and 40 bicycles. Although completely autonomous, the boats will include a captain and crew to ensure the safety of the passengers.

The city is working with RiverCat France, a cooperative society which includes transport management, residents, business owners, and other stakeholders in the project. The group decided that in order to ensure accessibility for passengers with reduced mobility and cyclists, the new transport line will include large hydraulic ramps to aid in embarking and disembarking. When on board, passengers will find that the boats are fully equipped, including: wifi, a café-bar, work stations, telephone charging, and bicycle storage.

Two more lines are scheduled to open later in 2024. Most fares will cost 3 EUR (~US3) and subscriptions and ticket books will also be offered to further reduce the cost for regular riders.