October 7, 2016 / 7:36 PM / a year ago

Paris expo promotes eco-friendly city transport

PARIS (Reuters) - Parisians tried out electric longboards, high performance wheelchairs and self-balancing scooters at a show in the French capital promoting eco-friendly ways to get around big cities.

Called Autonomy, the show brought together almost 200 exhibitors including ride-sharing start-ups and makers of transport robots, electric quadricycles and other innovative forms of getting around.

"What's so important about urban mobility is that it enables people to get onto the street very quickly, have human interactions with the butcher, the grocer, the cheesemaker, to sit on the street and enjoy a coffee in a quiet environment without the noise of motorbikes because now there are electric scooters instead, without the danger of pollution," said Autonomy founder Ross Douglas.

"I believe that life should be lived on the street. It shouldn't be lived in shopping malls and when you live on the street, it shouldn't be compromised by pollution and noise," he added.

The show, which runs until Sunday, opened just a few days after Paris held its biggest ever car-free day and a vote by Paris politicians to make the right bank of the River Seine accessible only to pedestrians, permanently closing a major traffic route.

(This version of the story corrects spelling error and removes extraneous word in final paragraph.)

Reporting by Reuters Television in Paris; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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