Mobility

Paris prohibits e-scooter rentals after local referendum

Paris prohibits e scooters rentals local referendum

Photo: Mircea - Surprising_Shots from Pixabay

Published

August 29, 2023

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Published:

August 29, 2023

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All the companies with licenses for renting electric scooters in Paris – Lime, ​​Dot and Tier, have confirmed they will remove all vehicles of the type by September 1. The local authority is making the French capital one of the first cities in Europe that banned the activity.

In 2018, Paris was among the first to allow e-scooter renting services as part of its efforts to lower pollution in traffic. However, poor regulation and breaches of the rules in place led to an increase in collisions. Three people died last year in accidents involving the trotinettes running on batteries, and a whopping 459 individuals were injured.

At a local referendum held on April 2, 90% of those who voted opted for a ban on rentals. Asked by CNBC to comment on the matter, the three operators highlighted the fact that the turnout was a mere 7%. However, the Paris administration decided to make the nonbinding result a reality. There is no change for privately-owned two-wheelers.

Mayor Anne Hidalgo called the plebiscite a “victory for local democracy.” At the time of the vote, she opined that the prices are too high, at EUR 5 per ten minutes, and pointed out that the drivers of rented e-scooters caused numerous traffic accidents.

Many cities are imposing limitations for e-scooters

The debate is on in urban environments across the planet whether such devices are dangerous or they contribute to sustainable urban mobility. Many local authorities have set speed limits, determined parking zones and rolled out other limitations and fines. City dwellers are complaining that some users are leaving e-scooters in the middle of squares and parks, which causes headaches for decision makers as well.

Electric bicycles to replace e-scooters

Some municipal authorities allow electric scooters to be driven on sidewalks and bicycle lanes and others don’t. Outright prohibition of rental systems is rare. This year Madrid reversed a ban and allowed such companies to operate under different conditions. A similar solution was found in 2021 in Copenhagen.

As for Lime, Dott and Tier, they said they would turn their focus on bolstering the offer of e-bicycles in Paris. Dott revealed that it is moving e-scooters to towns and cities such as Bordeaux, where it has new contracts. The company added it is increasing the number of electric bikes for rent and hoping it would spread around Paris suburbs before the Olympic Games, set for next July.

Nevertheless, e-bikes aren’t exactly perfect as regards safety and mobility issues. In fact, critics have stressed such vehicles can clog pavements and streets if they are not properly parked and that drivers often go too fast on sidewalks.

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