Mobility / Newsletter of 1 Juillet 2019

These bike-riding entrepreneurs are reinventing their trades and rethinking urban logistics

They are bicycle repair technicians, plumbers, masseurs, window cleaners and even beer brewers! And together they are the “Boîtes à Vélo”. A collective of entrepreneurs and tradespeople who use bicycles as their trade vehicle.

Founded in Nantes in 2013, the collective originally began with just four pioneers but has since expanded throughout France with no fewer than 200 members out of 500 registered cyclist-entrepreneurs.

The advantage? A vehicle that is affordable, non-polluting, silent, fast and easy to park. Perfect for city centres abandoned by tradespeople blaming a lack of available parking.

“Where one plumber in a van can take on three customers, we can serve six because we’re travelling by bike. We’re faster, and that makes us more profitable”, explains Sonia Boury, plumber and Chairwoman of Boîtes à Vélo Nantes, in an interview to Mr Mondialisation.

Using electric-assist cargo bikes, these professionals do not need to compromise on their carrying capacity. “We can offer a wide range of services, and there’s room for plenty more! We can even carry bathtubs”, assures the young woman.

And this is only the beginning, with the collective having converted to a federation on 19 January this year, following its first convention held in Angers in western France. Their goal: to better defend the interest of local Boîtes à Vélo collectives, for example by pushing to change legislation restricting the use of electric bikes.



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