The streets of Paris will look very different this morning as the ban on e-scooter rental services comes into effect.
In April, Parisians voted in a referendum to kick out e-scooter rental services in the city.
Three companies, Lime, Dott and Tier, all had contracts with the city to provide e-scooters in the French capital with a total fleet of 15,000 e-scooters.
The licenses were granted in 2020 but the companies were dogged with complaints from some quarters of the city over issues like safety, reckless riding and parking.
The companies filed several proposals with city officials on how they would address these complaints.
Ultimately Mayor Anne Hidalgo put the question to the people who voted favor of booting the services. The ban did not take immediate effect but rather the authorities allowed for the current licenses to expire at the end of August.
Over 90% of voters that turned out to the polls voted in favor of the ban. However proponents of e-scooters criticized the vote for its poor turnout and limited number of polling stations that they say led to an unrepresentative result.
Regardless, Lime, Dott and Tier must now contend with losing access, for their e-scooters, to one of Europe’s major cities, especially with the Olympics in Paris coming next year.
The companies still provide e-bike rentals in the city and will look to ramp up those operations both for residents and visitors to the city during the Olympics and tourist season.
Paris has invested heavily in improving its cycling infrastructure to encourage more people to cycle and to use their cars less, so the e-bike services are not likely to attract as much vitriol as e-scooters did.
E-scooter rentals remain in service in other large French cities.
The question of e-scooters in European cities continues to be a point of contention. Companies are eager to deploy their fleets and expand access to micromobility to more and more cities. However on the flipside, complaints about safety and clutter caused by bad parking remain a hot button issue among some city lawmakers and authorities.