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Bicycle Taxis Take to Paris Streets

April 12, 1999

PARIS (AP) _ Tourists waved, motorcyclists smiled, and even the police welcomed the newest form of mass transportation on Paris streets Monday: bicycle taxis.

The bright yellow VeloTaxis offer visitors an hour-long, scenic view of Paris for $23, with a maximum of two adult passengers and a child. The ride goes past the Orsay and Louvre museums, the Opera and Place Vendome.

The fleet of four VeloTaxis, including two convertibles, will be available in front of the Tuileries Gardens daily from April to October.

``It was a wonderful treat, said Brazilian visitor Natalia Moriya, stepping out of one.

The VeloTaxi was developed by Patrick and Didier Leonhart, combining France’s passion for cycling with tourism and a campaign to raise environmental consciousness.

Gregory Millon, a student who pedals for pocket money, returned from his first ride with a flat tire.

``There are unforeseen problems due to the roads, but we’ll work them out,″ he said, wearing a matching yellow cap and jacket.

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