Monday, August 2, 2010

NPR is the Shiznitt


I didn't even realize it until today, but Friday's was my 105th post. Yay me. I started this blog in early March, I can't remember the day, but that means that six months will be coming up soon. And I haven't embarrassed myself into oblivion ... yet.

Anyway thanks for all the lovely comments on Rose's post and query. She and I will be in touch and announcing a winner soon. Well, I assume we will at least, it's really all up to her. I don't have much else today but I do want to share with you all a pretty cool story I heard on the radio on the way in to work this morning.

I listen to NPR in the morning and sports talk in the afternoon. Does this mean I'm old and boring? Yeah, pretty much. Anyway this morning they had an encouraging story about something planned for Paris. They've already got the best health-care in the world, what do the French need now you ask? How about a fleet of electric cars, publicly funded, to allow Parisians to rent them for a very reasonable rate at any time and place?

It's called Autolib, which is short for Auto Liberte. Think of it like the community car programs many major U.S. cities have like FlexCar except that these are all electric, publicly funded, and cheap to use. Paris has had a program called Velib going strong since 2007 in which Bikes can be rented dirt cheap by the public and then returned across town. Velib has already reduced traffic in Paris by 25%, officials hope the car program will do even more to reduce congestion and pollution.

Autolib is basically an extension of the bike plan in which a fleet of 3000 all electric cars will be available for rent at very reasonable rates across the city, can be used for a day or a week, re-charged at over 1000 stations around town, and then returned at your leisure. It's very simple. You pay to use a car when you need it, and there are no hassles like insurance, repairs, and the bane of every urban driver who ever lived: parking.

You can read more about the program here.

What will they think of next?

29 comments:

Ted Cross said...

And still Americans say they won't ever give up their cars. We need innovations in public transportation. I keep going to cities where you can't move during rush hour and there is no where to park, yet they say the number of cars on the road will double in x number of years. How can anyone live like that? I say good for Paris for forward thinking.

salarsenッ said...

It's scary to think of what could be coming next, but then again maybe it's not. *the thought of chocolate...within the blink of an eye...it's in my hand.* Works for me.

Angela M. said...

I'd so use this program like an SOB if they had one here! I despise owning a vehicle, but I love to have one.

When I was stationed in Hawaii, the shipyard had these old bikes outside all the buildings so we could just take one and then leave it wherever we took it to for someone else to use. Loved it. I'd use that here, too.

Creepy Query Girl said...

Yes, the electric bikes have really made a difference and I hadn't heart that they were going to do the same with cars! That's great! They've also been working on a tramway system that should deplete some of the bus routes. Good stuff.

aspiring_x said...

oh WOW! what a good idea!
(tell me you do listen to music sometimes though... right?)

Matthew Rush said...

Aspiring I do listen to music and I LOVE it. Just not the kind they play on the radio. I own about 2500 vinyl records, LPs and 12" singles and though I don't often listen to them, I consider them an excuse to download the music that I already own.

BTW you should associate your email with your blogger account so I can reply to your comments! Thanks for visiting though.

Aubrie said...

Wow, that sounds really neat. I listen to NPR myself and I don't consider myself old-not yet :)

Lisa of In Pencil said...

That is a great idea...And congrats on your 105th post. Judging by your following, I would have guessed that you've been blogging for more than 6 months. Impressive.

Jess said...

Cool story- NPR rocks(Car Talk is big in my family)!

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

Europe have a lot of those bike schemes. I think it's great that Paris are promoting alternate transport. Having friven through Paris, the traffic is a nightmare!

aspiring_x said...

good to know!
(and thanks- i had no idea- and done!)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Europe has such great public transportation.
Congratulations on the posts - and followers! You've done well since March.

Shannon said...

I miss NPR. I used to listen to it all the time on my way to work. Thanks for posting about this, Matt.

DEZMOND said...

You already know I'm a humongous supporter of everything that protects environment so I'm raising my thumbs for this fleet of electric cars!

Falen (Sarah) said...

that...is awesome.
Sigh. i wish we could get our act together

Lydia Kang said...

That's a brilliant idea! Brilliant!

Congrats on your 105th post. You have SO NOT embarrassed yourself, btw!

Lisa_Gibson said...

Sometimes I consider that much of the conveniences, etc. we have today were invented in the 20th century. It makes me wonder what will be coming in the 21st century. It should be interesting, whatever it is. ;) Congrats on the 105!
Lisa ~ YA Literature Lover

Jemi Fraser said...

What a great idea! Very forward thinking :)

Congrats on the 105 posts - awesome!

Ariel Swan said...

I have been an NPR junkie since college. I even have a decale on my classroom whiteboard to brainwash my students into listening to NPR. Not old and boring - intelligent and informed.

Old Kitty said...

Vive le France!

And you're not old, just misunderstood! that's what I say to myself anyway!

take care
x

Slamdunk said...

Wow, 105 in 6 months is a lot of writing. Keep up the good work.

Tabitha said...

My dad loves Car Talk on NPR so much that he automatically recognized their voices in the movie Cars, even before they said their 'don't drive like my brother' catch-phrase. :)

I saw those bikes when we were in Paris last year, and my kids thought they were awesome. We couldn't rent one, though, because the kids are too small. The car idea, though, is something we'd be all over! I'd love to have something like that here.

Great story! Thanks for sharing. :)

Christina Lee said...

yeah, you are kind of old and boring *wink*-- neat story!

Tahereh said...

wow! IT BOGGLES THE MIND!

Jen said...

Rose's query rocked the world!!! I loved it!

Wow 105 posts?! That's nuts! I don't how many I've written! I did just fall on my six months though, I hope I'm still going strong and haven't embarassed myself too much!!!

Maurice Mitchell said...

What a great idea. I had hoped the bike idea would catch on in Phoenix, but now I hope the electric car catches on instead.

Elaine AM Smith said...

London has just unveiled the new cycle scheme - it is about a week old but the popularity is growing.

Will Burke said...

OMG. that is Awesome! Every city should do this!

Rose Cooper said...

That is crazy-interesting!

Congrats on your 105th post--did you have to count them all up or does it tell your somewhere how many you actually have?

Thanks again so much for doing my query post, it was so much fun. And yes, we'll be picking the winner today and announcing tomorrow!