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Paris: Electric scooters, soon banned?

It was the shocking news of this weekend. Imagine giving the power to the inhabitants to choose whether or not to put an end to the reign of free-floating scooters? Well, the mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo did it… Indeed, this Saturday, the latter announced to the newspaper Le Parisien, the implementation of a popular referendum. A call to the ballot box in a few months, with the aim to decide on the future of the two wheels. A major upheaval leading in fact to a global reflection on the cohabitation in the public space, with concrete actions…

“Do we continue or not with free-floating scooters?”

This is the divisive question that Parisians will have to answer on April 2. A citizen vote is equal to a classic election, which will be done “in the polling stations”. With a ballot, only the inhabitants “benefiting from a residence in Paris, on the basis of the electoral files”.

Eligibility criteria that can be questioned. The reason? These services of free-floating scooters are also used by residents in the Metropolis or tourists. An electoral list, certainly enlarged, but conceivable… Knowing that they would represent more than 15% of users according to the operators in place.

The watchword: “Calm our streets and sidewalks”

On the hot seat for several months, the operators of scooters are far from unanimous. Indeed, the elected officials of Paris have not stopped threatening not to renew the contract with the three operators in place. Namely Lime, TIER Mobility, and Dott. Contracts that are due to expire very soon. As David Belliard, Deputy for Mobility and Roads in Paris, pointed out in an interview with France TV Info, “the problem is not just about one thing”.

We have gone as far as we can in terms of regulation […] And despite all that, we see that we still have a lot of problems.

David Belliard, Deputy for Mobility and Roads in Paris

Between the accidents, the incivilities, the congestion of the public space, the “environmental cost”, or the conditions of the employees, the city of Paris really wonders about the “cost/benefit ratio”. This is a more than crucial issue because today Paris counts in its urban landscape, 15000 free-floating scooters. Cohabitation of the public space raises the question of the implementation of a regulation, but also of a regulation…

A future “Parisian Street Code”

Between pedestrians, cyclists, cabs, buses, delivery vehicles and scooters, the city of Paris has seen its urban landscape metamorphose. To the point that it has become urgent for elected officials to concern themselves with “road safety and improving cohabitation between these different road users.

A problem taken in hand leading Anne Hidalgo has announced the establishment of a Code of the street from next June. Its objective: “To say how we behave, and how the municipal police punish those who do not respect the rules.” And for that, it could go through the implementation of license plates, to facilitate the verbalization. Regulations that will accompany other measures, such as the establishment of limited traffic zone (ZTL in french) in 2024. That is a city road reserved exclusively for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users.

It seems that a citizen’s assembly, composed of a hundred Parisians, is already working on the subject. In addition, a first consultation will take place next February, bringing together “residents, experts, public and private partners”. It is a safe bet that this first confrontation will encourage other cities to lead the same fight…