Paris becomes the first European capital to ban shared e-scooters after the city’s residents voted overwhelmingly in favour of the ban. In a landmark referendum, 89% of Parisians voted to get rid of the scooters due to concerns over safety, environmental impact, and the cluttering of sidewalks. The referendum had a low turnout of around 8% of registered Parisian voters.
The ban will come into effect on September 1, the exact date the contract for the three e-scooter companies – Dott, Tier, and Lime – operating in the city expires. The city initially welcomed e-scooters in 2018, but the vehicles soon caused security concerns and cluttered sidewalks, leading to the referendum.
Mayor Anne Hidalgo said the vote was a “victory for local democracy,” despite the low turnout. However, the French Transport Minister, Clément Beaune, called the referendum a “democratic failure” due to the low turnout. The three e-scooter companies were criticized for offering free rides on voting day and requesting e-voting to incentivize the 18-24-year-old demographic to participate in the referendum.
“The Parisians who spoke overwhelmingly spoke out against self-service scooters,” Ms Hidalgo said.
“Their very clear message now becomes our roadmap. With my team, we will follow through on their decision as I promised.”
Will this decision lead to a massive rise in privately owned e-scooters? Time will tell!