Last year October saw the launch of the chauffeur driven Hopper electric taxi scooter in Amsterdam. Inspired by founder Ruben Beugels’ experience dealing with a broken down tram and a late meeting, the Hopper aims to bridge the gap between using public transport and reaching your final destination.
Amsterdam’s 17th century canals are small and ill-equipped for large vehicles which often get stuck in congestion, the bicycle being the transport mode of choice. While public transport in Amsterdam is reliable and efficient, trams and buses usually don’t service the oldest parts of the city center. When tourists and residents don’t have access to a bike, Beugels hopes that the Hopper will provide much needed transportation through Amsterdam’s crammed canals where public transport doesn’t reach.
Six years since Beugels’ frustrating public transportation hiccup he has managed to accrue both public and private partners including the city of Amsterdam, NS, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment and sustainable bank Tridos. The Hopper is simply a clever and effective idea and earns double brownie points for its commitment to the environment. The Hoppers, which are noiseless, emit 68% less carbon emissions than traditional moped scooters.
During its initial phase of operation, the Hopper will run on weekdays between 8:00 and 20:00 within Amsterdam’s city centre, De Pijp, RAI Station and the Zuidas business district. Each ride costs a fixed rate of just €2.50.
So how does it work? Very simply actually. Users can flag a Hopper down on the street, call a Hopper via telephone, book through the Hopper’s website, or use a specifically designed app.
The Hopper is a much needed cheap and environmentally friendly way to navigate the streets of Amsterdam. While cycling will always be the most popular way to get around, the Hopper provides tourists and residents with an affordable and convenient alternative.
For more info and to get the app (available soon!) http://www.myhopper.nl/