Harry Leahey

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Residents of Paris voted against rental e-scooters over the weekend, leading to a likely ban on the machines. 


The vote was initiated by Anne Hidalgo, the Mayor of Paris, who had expressed concerns about safety and public space usage. 


The ballot asked Parisians whether they were in favour of or against self-service scooters in Paris, with 89 percent of voters opposing the machines. However, less than 8 percent of eligible voters participated in the poll. 


The referendum was a single-issue ballot, with voting held at only 21 locations. Although 1.3 million Parisians are on the city's electoral list, only 103,084 voted. 


The vote is merely advisory, and Hidalgo will ultimately make the decision on whether to keep them. 


Signalling the likelihood the rental two-wheelers will be banned, Hidalgo said she will “honour” the results of the vote, regardless of voter turnout.  


The city's current dockless rental e-scooter services are provided by Dott, Lime, and Tier, though it’s being reported their contracts will be terminated from August 31. 


Ironically, shared e-scooter services were first introduced to Paris in 2018, making it one of Europe's first major cities to do so, and operators were limited to a total of 20,000 machines. 


In a bid to avoid the ban ahead of the vote, the e-scooter providers submitted a series of proposals for stronger machine controls, such as age verification and new technology to deter pavement riding.


While rental e-scooters are expected to disappear from Paris's streets, privately owned e-scooters remain legal in France, and will continue to be permitted in the capital - a contrast to current UK law, which makes them illegal on public roads. 


Following the vote, Tier Mobility expressed disappointment with the result,  stating that the vast majority of Parisians, who did not vote, had shown that e-scooters were not an issue. 


It added: "With a presence in more than 560 cities and communities in 31 countries, we know that the decision of Paris goes against the global trend, which sees countries and cities around the world embracing low carbon micro-mobility.


“Moving away from shared e-scooters also means that Paris is isolating itself from the rest of the world with major capitals like Washington, Madrid, Rome, London, Berlin or Vienna that are all implementing policies supporting e-scooters as ways to reduce unnecessary car usage.”


Meanwhile, Maxim Romain, CEO of DOT tweeted: "It is sad for our users and employees who worked hard these past four years to offer daily our service. We will keep offering our e-bike service and hope to build stronger collaboration with the city of Paris."

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Harry Leahey 03/04/23