Paris bans electric scooters

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Electric scooter on the road

Starting from September 1, Paris will become the first European capital to entirely prohibit these two-wheeled ride-sharing vehicles.

The Parisian experiment of renting e-scooters since 2018, being the first European city to do so, was not without controversy. Allowed to be left at any location and retrieved via a mobile app, the e-bikes were a safety concern and widely considered a nuisance.

Many Parisians have grown weary of witnessing them being parked in the middle of pavements or weaving through pedestrians, even though their speed has been restricted to 10 km/h in specific areas. Numerous accidents are believed to have occurred because of them.

The decision to eliminate electric scooters was made via a referendum in Paris. The three operators, Lime, Tier, and Dott, lost their authorization to occupy public spaces following an unprecedented referendum in early April. The “no” camp won by nearly 90%, but only 7.46% of eligible voters participated. The socialist mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, personally campaigned against them to reduce the “disturbance.”

Starting in August, the 15,000 units were gradually removed from the streets, with only a few remaining on Thursday, primarily in central Paris. After possible repairs, these remaining scooters will be sent to other cities.

No scooters are available on the Lime and Dott apps, while the Tier app displayed only around a hundred vehicles out of the German company’s initial 5,000 in the morning.

A third of Tier’s fleet will remain in the Paris region, distributed across 80 communes around Marne-la-Vallée and Saint-Germain-en-Laye. The majority will go primarily to Germany. Dott will dispatch its own vehicles to Belgium and Tel Aviv. Lime’s green scooters will be distributed to Lille, London, Copenhagen, and various German cities.

Operators are banking on their customers transitioning to ride-sharing bikes, which should help them avoid layoffs, at least for the time being.

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