The oh-so-carefree city of Amsterdam is making a push for better transportation with fewer emissions by launching an electric-scooter taxi service called Hopper.

Customers can order the service via telelphone, smartphone app or, if lucky, hail one down on the streets of the city. Either way, the cost is 2.5 euros (about $3.20 US at today's exchange rates) per ride as long as it's within the city limits. Hopper started the service last month, after five years (!) in the planning stages. Company officials say Hopper is working to expand service to Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht.

Bikes in the Fast Lane noted that scooters in Amsterdam are limited to a top speed of 25 kilometers per hour (about 15 mph), which means customers (and their chauffeurs, for that matter) can ride without helmets. Hopper's press release is available below.
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Electric chauffeur-driven scooters ride through town from 1 October.

Amsterdam, 27 September 2012. From 1 October, after five years of preparation, Hopper will be the new way for commuters and Amsterdam citizens to move around the city. On chauffeur-driven electric scooters, for a fixed rate of €2.50 a ride, customers are taken to their final destination. The project is a private-public cooperation with the City of Amsterdam, NS and the Ministry of Infrastructure & Environment and helps solve metropolitan transportation problems.

In its initial phase, the service will operate within the city centre (ring S100), branching out to the Pijp, RAI Station and the Zuidas business district. Hopper will be operational on weekdays from 8.00 to 20.00. Customers can book a Hopper by means of an app, telephone number 0900-8890 or via the website The scooters that Hopper operates have been converted for transportation purposes, to provide extra comfort and safety. For example, the saddle was extended, steps were mounted on the backside of the scooter and the box on the rear can act as a back support.

Ruben Beugels, initiator of Hopper Netherlands: "The preparations for the roll-out of Hopper to Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht have now been launched".

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