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Paris votes to ban rental e-scooters

Paris votes to ban rental e-scooters

2023-04-02 16:15:15

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Paris (AFP) – Paris voted overwhelmingly Sunday to banish for-hire electrical scooters from the streets of the French capital, delivering a blow to operators and a victory for street security campaigners.

The referendum means the Metropolis of Mild, as soon as a pioneer in embracing e-scooter companies, is ready to turn out to be the one main European capital to outlaw the widespread units booked on apps corresponding to Lime.

The town’s residents had been requested to weigh in for or in opposition to them in a public session organised by mayor Anne Hidalgo, with almost 90 % of the votes solid in opposition to, official outcomes confirmed.

“We’re blissful. It is what we have been preventing for over 4 years,” mentioned Arnaud Kielbasa, co-founder of the Apacauvi charity, which represents victims of e-scooter accidents.

“All Parisians say they’re nervous on the pavements, nervous once they cross the roads. You might want to look all over the place,” Kielbasa, whose spouse and toddler daughter had been hit by an e-scooter driver, instructed AFP. “That is why they’ve voted in opposition to them.”

‘Not sustainable’

Operators say they’re being unfairly singled out as responsable for the usually chaotic nature of Paris streets, the place mayor Hidalgo has championed bikes and different types of non-emitting transport since coming to energy in 2014.

Her administration welcomed e-scooter operators with open arms in 2018, nevertheless it has progressively tightened laws since, creating designated parking zones, limiting the highest velocity and proscribing the variety of operators.

However such measures have did not persuade residents, who usually complain about reckless and drunken driving, in addition to muddle on pavements.

A spate of deadly accidents has additionally highlighted the hazards of autos that may at the moment be employed by kids as younger as 12.

“I am dedicated to respecting the selection of voters, purely and easily,” Hidalgo instructed reporters as she voted on Sunday.

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo has pushed cycling and bike-sharing but favours a ban on e-scooters
Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo has pushed biking and bike-sharing however favours a ban on e-scooters © LOIC VENANCE / AFP

The 63-year-old is now anticipated to not renew working contracts for the town’s three operators — California-based Lime, Amsterdam-based Dott and Berlin-based Tier — from August 31.

She mentioned on Sunday that their enterprise mannequin was “very costly — 5 euros for 10 minutes — it is not very sustainable, and above all, it is the reason for a whole lot of accidents.”

The session won’t have an effect on privately owned electrical scooters, of which 700,000 had been bought nationwide final yr, in response to transport ministry figures.

Round 100,000 journeys are accomplished every day in France on rented e-scooters in round 200 cities and cities.

‘In opposition to the present’?

The ban represents a major monetary and reputational blow for the multinational operators and will encourage different cities to observe go well with.

Montreal outlawed all electrical scooters for rental or non-public use in 2020, whereas Copenhagen banned rental variations in 2020 earlier than bringing them again a yr later with stricter circumstances.

Voters were offered a simple choice of "for" or "against"
Voters had been supplied a easy selection of “for” or “in opposition to” © Geoffroy Van der Hasselt / AFP

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E-scooter firms have backed tighter laws in France, unveiled by the federal government final week, which might improve the minimal age to 14 and improve fines for offences corresponding to driving with a passenger.

“After all, there are driving offences and harmful behaviour. That is human nature, not the automobile,” Nicolas Gorse, managing director of Dott, instructed LCI tv on Sunday. “What we’d like is to coach, detect and punish.”

Hadi Karam, common supervisor for France at Lime, instructed AFP final week that Paris was going “in opposition to the present” in in search of to ban rental e-scooters, citing current selections to broaden them in Washington, New York, Madrid or London.

“There is a pattern in direction of these autos and this pattern began in Paris which was a pioneer,” he mentioned.

Operators supplied free rides to prospects who voted on Sunday and employed on-line influencers to attempt to drum up help amongst their principally younger customers — largely in useless judged by the excessive proportion of older voters seen in queues.

“They’re harmful, each for individuals who use them and for pedestrians,” Francoise Granier, a 68-year-old physician who voted within the ninth district of the capital, instructed AFP. “And the police by no means intervene.”

Like her, IT employee Michael Dahan, 50, deplored the state of the capital’s streets, saying: “If it was higher regulated, I would not be in opposition to… however you see individuals behaving in a loopy means.”

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