Thursday, March 7, 2013

Scooter-Bike to Debut for French Bike Share

Commuters in a bike sharing scheme debuting in Bordeaux, France are going to get to try a spanking new hybrid between a bike and a scooter. French designer Philippe Starck and automaker Peugeot teamed up to create the Pibal (French for "baby eel"), a retro-stylish, aluminum-framed vehicle that allows users to ride it like a bike when the going's easy, or to propel it by foot like a scooter when traffic's heavy.

Bordeaux's residents were asked to submit ideas for a new kind of bike, in an effort to increase bicycle use in local public transportation. Starck and Peugeot synthesized these elements together to create the crowd-sourced Pibal, which features yellow colouring for increased visibility, and ample storage in its front and rear racks. Starck explains on Dezeen that:
Just like the pibale, undulating and playing with the flow, Pibal is an answer to new urban ergonomics, thanks to a lateral translation which allows oneself to pedal long distances, to scoot in pedestrian areas and to walk next to it, carrying a child or any load on its platform. It only has the beauty of its intelligence, of its honesty, of its durabiliity. Rustic and reliable, it's a new friend dedicated to the future Bordeaux expectations.

If It's Hip It's Here comments that
The [Pibal] is basically a scooter and a bike compacted into one though the Bordelais (citizens of Bordeaux) are happy to have their very own custom-created public bike and no longer need to feel snubbed by metropolises like Paris and Copenhagen who got their own custom-created public bicycles a while ago.

The Pibal does look a bit heavy, and its lack of a top bar probably means the frame will flex a bit more, residents will get to test out the prototype's durability and versatility when the program launches with 300 Pibals in its fleet -- all free to use -- in June of this year.

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