The chauffeur-driven car may certainly stand for something other than a status symbol reserved for a handful of lucky officials. By contrast, the nonprofit Chauffeur Sans Voiture (CSV), created in 2009 by executives in law, marketing and human resources, wants to demonstrate the usefulness of this type of service, both in terms of integration and employment, outreach, road safety and environmental conservation. The idea is a simple one: by pooling complementary needs. On one side, private individuals or professionals who don't want to or can no longer drive their car for a variety of reasons (age, handicap, temporary disability, revoked driving license) but for whom mobility remains indispensable. On the other, unemployed persons, others in difficulty or unskilled, who are supported in their self-entrepreneur project in order to set up a permanent request driver business.
A pilot phase, launched in summer 2010 in the Paris region with a dozen drivers, will enable CSV to refine the concept, better gauge the market and the needs of the customers. The nonprofit aims to create the first 300 jobs in five years in the capital region, 1000 to 2000 in the medium term, thanks to the extension of the project to the whole of France in the third year.
A genuine social, societal and environmental ambition
Recruited, trained and counseled by CSV in partnership with ADIE - one of the reference players in micro-businesses - the drivers become micro-franchised and will keep two-thirds of the income generated. The approach of CSV, which fits in ideally with an outreach business logic, should culminate in the creation of a cooperative of collective interest (SCIC), with which the drivers will be associated.
The service proposed makes the road safer, by offering an alternative to persons whose vigilance is weakened by fatigue, alcohol or medicines. It also makes it less pollutant, with drivers trained in eco-driving and encouraged to share the same vehicle with several persons, particularly for professional sorties. And when the driver quits the wheel to help his customer move around or to carry the shopping, it also makes life easier for him.
The Veolia Foundation is participating in financing the IT software required, particularly the website to enable the customers to make reservations and the drivers to manage their schedules.