Paris Has Become The First City To Vote In Favor Of Banning E-Scooters

Electric scooters will be prohibited in Paris from September 1, as confirmed by Mayor Anne Hidalgo on Monday. This decision was made after a public referendum that received an 89 percent vote in favor of the ban.

However, the turnout for the referendum was only 7.46 percent of registered voters, and it was criticized for its restrictive voting methods. Despite this, Mayor Hidalgo stated that she would respect the outcome of the election.

“From September 1, there will be no more electric scooters for rent in Paris,” she told a news conference late on Sunday.

But, e-scooter operators indicated on Monday that they wanted to block the proposal.

“We remain hopeful that we can continue to work with Mayor Hidalgo to adopt sensible regulations instead of a ban on e-scooters, and avoid a step backward for Paris,” a spokesperson for Lime said on Monday.

People ride electric scooters by Lime sharing service, on the eve of a public vote on whether or not to ban rental electric scooters, in Paris, France, April 1, 2023. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

On the other hand, Clement Beaune, France’s Transport Minister and a potential candidate for mayor in 2026, called the referendum “a massive democratic flop” on BFM television.

Since 2018, electric scooters have been in operation in Paris, but due to complaints about their disorderly deployment, the number of operators was reduced to three in 2020. These operators were granted a three-year contract that imposed a speed limit of 20 km/h for scooters and enforced designated parking spaces, similar to measures adopted by other cities worldwide. The current contracts will expire in September.

Operators suggested additional restrictions such as mandating users to be at least 18 years old, attaching license plates to enable police to identify traffic offenders, and limiting users to one passenger.

Last year, there were 459 accidents involving e-scooters and similar vehicles in Paris, three of which were fatal. In 2021, 24 people died in scooter-related incidents across France, including one in Paris.

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