Paris will evolve one of the cities to restrict e-scooter rentals

August 29, 2023: Paris will this week become one of the cities in Europe with an outright ban on rented e-scooters as operators plan to increase their e-bike fleets to return them ahead of the 2024 Olympics.

Despite previously expressing hopes for a previous-minute reprieve, the three firms with e-scooter operating licenses in the French capital, Lime, Dott, and Tier, that they will have removed their scooters, or trottinettes, by the September 1 deadline.

They had a combined fleet of approximately 15,000 e-scooters in the city.

A referendum held in April gave Parisians two choices regarding the rental scooters: for or against.

Companies pointed out that the turnout represented just 7% of those eligible to vote. They also argued the city would fall out of step with other urban hubs embracing an eco-friendly mode of transport popular with tourists in one of the most-visited cities in the world. They point out there will be no change to private e-scooter usage rules.

But the result was emphatic among those who did vote, with 90% against the trottinettes.

It comes as cities worldwide debate whether such vehicles, which are unlocked via an app and paid for by the minute, are a dangerous public nuisance or part of the future of urban mobility.

Shared scooters exist in other French cities, including Marseille and Lyon.

Many cities have introduced restrictions on scooters, such as speed limits and parking zones enforced via fines for users. Some allow them to be ridden on pavements and bike lanes; others do not. However, outright bans by cities that have previously welcomed them are rare.

In Europe, Madrid reversed a prior ban to allow rental firms back with new conditions, as Copenhagen did in 2021. Most e-scooters in the bike-loving Netherlands are banned on public roads, and no ride-sharing companies have entered the market.

Tourist hotspots New Orleans and Las Vegas have ride-share e-scooter bans, but they remain in 158 other U.S. cities.

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