This weekend mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo told Le Parisien that Parisians get to vote whether or not to ban free-floating electric scooters. As I explained last week, Dott, Lime, and Tier, the three scooter companies currently operating in the city, have operating permits that expire March 23, 2023. And the fate of those services could have major consequences for the micromobility sector.
“If Parisians want to have their own scooter, that’s no problem. But we have a real problem with free-floating scooters. It is not climate friendly. Employees who work for these companies are not treated well,” the mayor of Paris told Le Parisien.
“That’s why I’m going to put a question to the Parisians in a vote that will take place on Sunday, April 2, so that I can understand what they want,” she added.
Each operator currently has a fleet of 5,000 electric scooters. Since the vote will take place a few days after the license expires, it appears that scooter companies will have to remove 15,000 scooters from the streets of Paris before knowing whether they will be allowed to drive.
The city council is divided on electric scooters. Deputy Mayor David Belliard has been strongly against those services. He is responsible for the transport and he is also a member of the green party. He is an important ally of Anne Hidalgo, a member of the Socialist Party.
But that doesn’t mean everyone in the city council wants to ban electric scooters. The mayor of Paris ultimately decides whether shared scooters should be banned or not. And she’s decided that… she’s not going to decide, even though she doesn’t like scooters.
“Should we move forward with free-floating scooters or not? At the public hearing with Parisians last year, it was a polarizing subject – it’s a struggle. My idea is we should stop. But I will respect the voice of the Parisians, even if they disagree with what I want,” Hidalgo told Le Parisien.
So the campaign continues. Dott, Lime and Tier are already drafting their talking points. For example, according to them, electric scooters are a green transport option. The reality is a bit more complex, as an electric scooter is greener than an Uber ride. But Paris also has a dense metro network.
According to an Ipsos poll, funded by Dott, Lime and Tier, 40% of people living in Paris are happy with free-floating scooters. 88% of them also think they are here to stay. Let’s see if that opinion is reflected in the vote.
Here is a joint statement from Dott, Lime and Tier:
“We welcome the decision to consult Parisians about the city’s shared e-scooter service and hope to ensure its continuity in the coming months.
With over 2 million unique riders using the shared e-scooter service this year alone – and 700 tonnes of CO2 emissions avoided in 2021 by driving green in the capital – we are confident that Parisians are aware of the role that zero-emission micromobility options play in helping to achieve the ambitions set out in the Paris agreements at COP21.
All employees of the three operators in the Paris region – 800 in total, all with fixed-term or permanent contracts – are taking note of this postponement. Lime, Dott and Tier will remain alert to the terms of this consultation, which appears to state that only residents of inner-city Paris will be eligible to vote and those living in the city’s suburbs, as well as expatriates and non-residents living in the downtown living. city of Paris is not eligible to vote.”