All you need to know Shearing bicycles, scooters and electric cars in Marseille
Electric cars, bicycles and scooters in Marseille

All you need to know Shearing bicycles, scooters and electric cars in Marseille

It is hard to surprise a city dweller with car and bike sharing. Usually these services are available only to locals: registration requires a local tax number, a residence permit and a bank card, and sometimes you also have to take a training course. All this is true… not in Marseille. Here, even a tourist can rent an electric car, bicycle or scooter.

A new form of public transportation in Marseille is environmentally friendly, convenient and affordable. It is represented by a network of electric cars, electric scooters and bicycles, which are parked all over the city. Their use is organized according to the principle of self-service: you can pick them up at the nearest parking lot, ride them during the day or to the next attraction, and then leave them in a convenient place.

Electric scooter rental in Marseille

Electric scooters, aka electric scooters and trottinettes, open up a lot of opportunities for the independent tourist. On an electric scooter you can cover more interesting places in one day, to which it is physically unrealistic to reach on foot, especially in the summer heat. Small and nimble, it can easily fit into the narrow streets of the old quarter of Pannier, climb to the highest point of the city, where its main attraction — the Cathedral of Notre Dame de la Garde — is located, roll down the old port with a whistle, ride along the Canabier Avenue, and all this without traffic jams.

  • How much it costs: it costs 1 € to unlock the scooter and 0,15 € for one minute of use;
  • The electric scooter has the power to climb uphill at a minimum speed of 10 km/h;
  • One charge is enough for 50 kilometers.
Electric scooters in Marseille
Electric scooters in Marseille

Today, two competing companies provide electric scooters in Marseille: the American LIME and the German FLASH. Each has its own smartphone app that shows users the geolocation of the nearest available electric scooter.

With the app, you can:

  1. Calculate the rental price for the selected route.
  2. Consider the model you will ride and study the instruction manual in advance.
  3. Book a scooter.
  4. Track travel time and distance.
  5. Suspend your trip for a while.
  6. Contact customer service.

How to rent an electric scooter:

  1. Download the app on your smartphone and sign up.
  2. Use the app to find the nearest scooter or station. Keep in mind that if there are tall houses around that interfere with the GPS, the point on the map and the actual location of the scooter may not match. Sometimes the error can be as small as a block.
  3. Unlock the scooter by scanning the QR code located on the handlebars and enter the unlock code.
  4. Get the scooter in motion by pressing the start/start button 3 times and then the accelerator pedal.

Rules for renting electric scooters in Marseille:

  • Electric scooters are ridden on bike paths at 25 km/h and on sidewalks if the speed does not exceed 6 km/h.
  • An electric scooter, like an electric car is only available to those over the age of 18.
  • You can park your scooter in any convenient place in the city. The main thing is that it should not interfere with pedestrians and other vehicles.
  • To end the trip, tap a special button in the app.

Rent a city bike in Marseille

Marseille has an excellent bikeshare service, operated by Levélo. There are many bicycle stations, each equipped with a multifunctional terminal that allows you to pay for your bike rental, buy a subscription and read the rules.

  • Annual access to the service costs 5 €. Access for a week is only 1 €.
  • The first half hour of riding a rented bike is free, then every hour thereafter is €1 for a subscription of up to 7 days and €0.5 for an annual subscription.
  • Current prices: on the Levélo website
  • You can buy season tickets on the levélo website or through the self-service terminal at the rental outlets.
  • For Marseille Pass cardholders, there is a special offer: a 3-day pass for €1. The first 60 minutes of skiing are free. How to buy and activate: see the promotion description.

In addition to the terminal, the station has 10 to 20 locking points for unlocking or locking bicycles. A color indicator light tells you whether you have locked your bike correctly. The light should turn green.

This is what Levélo station looks like with bicycles and the terminal
This is what Levélo station looks like with bicycles and the terminal

Rent an electric car in Marseille

Getting around Marseille by car is not very convenient due to the insane traffic and lack of parking lots. And while the first problem can only be solved by taking public transportation, bicycles or scooters, the parking problem is partially solved by local car-sharing. Compact, cute, futuristic electric cars on lithium batteries can take you up to 250 kilometers, and parking is free for them all over the city.

Self-service electric car rental in Marseille is organized by Totem Mobi.

Totem Mobi company website

How carsharing works in Marseille

  1. Download the app and register to rent a car.
  2. The app has a map showing real-time geolocation of available electric cars, as well as the nearest stations where they can be charged.
  3. When renting a car, you must have at least 250 € on your bank card. This is the amount of the deposit, which will be deducted if the electric car is rented in poor condition. At the first registration, a TOTEM badge of 10 € is charged and another 0.99 € for registration.
  4. You can park your car both in the city center and in the suburbs, in special «green zones». They are usually located near large shopping and business centers. The app will tell you exactly where these zones are. You are welcome to leave your electric car at a charging station: bonus tokens are even awarded for this.
  5. To end the trip, you need to press the on/off button in the car, then send a notification via the app about your desire to end the rental and wait for the green light on the car to turn on. After that, you can safely leave the electric car without fear of penalties.

How much does it cost to rent an electric car

For renting an electric car you pay with local «currency « — TOKENS at the exchange rate of 1 token — 1.5 €. It is more profitable to buy them in packages.

  • Classic package for 30 € = 30 TOKENS (1 € per TOKEN).
  • Popular package for 90 € = 100 TOKENS.

The tokenized account looks like this:

  • Reservation: 1 token.
  • First hour of rental: 1 token for every 15 minutes.
  • Second and third hours: 1 token per 30 minutes or 0.5 tokens per 15 minutes.
  • Fourth and subsequent hours — 1 token per hour or 0.25 tokens per 15 minutes

When renting, you can save money:

  1. Choose a car marked with a yellow icon in the app: these are electric cars parked in a disadvantageous place for the company. You will get 2 bonus tokens for renting it. However, if you leave the car in the same disadvantageous place («green area»), you will pay 2 compensation tokens.
  2. Connect the electric car to charging after the trip is over and you will get 2 bonus tokens, and if the charge is less than 13 km (such cars are marked red in the app), you will get all 5 tokens.
Totem electric car in Marseille.
Totem electric car in Marseille.

Photos by Natalia Pivnitska are used in the article