Paris to ban electrical rental scooters after metropolis residents overwhelmingly shun the units in public referendum

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Paris — When the electrical scooters now ubiquitous in lots of main cities first arrived in France simply 5 years in the past, Paris grew to become a pioneer of the modern city transport possibility. Metropolis officers made them out there for anybody over the age of 12 to hire, seeing them as a straightforward to make use of, environmentally pleasant selection for metropolis dwellers.

However in comparatively quick order, that they had infuriated drivers, cyclists and pedestrians alike, as customers regularly ignored guidelines dictating the place they may very well be ridden after which parked after use.

Final yr, metropolis authorities stated scooters — rental and personal — have been concerned in 408 accidents within the French capital, together with three that involved a fatality.

On Sunday, Parisians have been requested to vote in a citywide referendum on scooters, and it was a landslide: Simply over 89% of those that forged a poll voted to see rental scooters banned.

A rider on a public rental electrical scooter, operated by Dott, in Paris, France, March 31, 2023.

Benjamin Girette/Bloomberg/Getty

Whereas the opposition was clear, turnout was hardly consultant. Solely 7.46% of Paris’ eligible voters forged a poll, or 103,084 folks. That is significantly fewer than the 400,000 folks that rental firms say use the scooters each month.

Electrical rental scooters have been launched to Paris in 2018. Metropolis Corridor and Socialist mayor Anne Hidalgo embraced their arrival. Nevertheless, it rapidly grew to become clear that visitors guidelines wanted to alter for these new autos, as many Parisians complained they have been a hazard to everybody else as some riders mounted pedestrian paths, ignored visitors lights after which deserted the scooters throughout sidewalks.

New guidelines have been introduced in steadily, decreasing the highest pace, designating the place they may very well be parked, and limiting the variety of suppliers. Electrical scooters have been restricted to bicycle lanes, whereas non-electric scooters can nonetheless be used on sidewalks.

Sunday’s referendum was held only a week after the federal government introduced in new nationwide guidelines, together with elevating the minimal age for renting an e-scooter from 12 to 14.

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As of Monday, three firms have been providing a complete of 15,000 electrical scooters to customers within the French capital. However Mayor Hidalgo, welcoming the referendum consequence, confirmed that the contracts wouldn’t be renewed after they finish in August.

Ending the contracts will value Paris Metropolis Corridor 930,000 euros (about $1 million) it receives from the three rental suppliers, Lime, Dott, and Tier. The businesses have identified that in addition they present jobs for some 800 folks.

“We’re blissful. It is what we have been combating for over 4 years,” stated Arnaud Kielbasa, co-founder of the Apacauvi charity, which represents victims of e-scooter accidents. His spouse and toddler daughter have been hit by somebody on an electrical scooter.

“All Parisians say they’re nervous on the pavements, nervous after they cross the roads. It’s good to look in every single place,” Kielbasa informed reporters. “That is why they’ve voted towards them.”

The ban is not going to apply to privately-owned scooters, nor does it apply in different French cities which have electrical scooters out there to hire.

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