The vote in Paris on banning e-scooters could shape the whole of Europe

E-scooters in Paris have become a focal point for the industry in Europe and the city’s mayor, Anne Hidalgo, is going to put the question to the public.

As reported by France 24, Hidalgo will allow Parisians to decide whether to continue e-scooter rentals. The vote – expected to take place in April – means the three companies operating in Paris will launch a charm offensive to maintain their place in a vital city for micromobility in Europe.

It is critical that the outcome of the vote and the fate of e-scooters in Paris could have a far-reaching effect across Europe and the way cities regulate micromobility vehicles.

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But how did it come to this?

Tier, Dott and Lime won contracts in Paris in 2020, but have since had a tumultuous relationship with authorities.

The permits were issued as part of a much larger plan by Mayor Hidalgo to reduce car use in the city, but complaints about dangerously parked scooters or reckless users have plagued the program. For example, tragically, one pedestrian was killed in 2021 when she was hit on the sidewalk by an e-scooter rider.

A number of city politicians have led the condemnation of e-scooters, such as David Belliard, a deputy mayor.

Last year, the situation came to a head when the Paris City Council in September ordered the three companies to step up their security efforts significantly.

The companies came up with a joint proposal, including identity checks, license plates and sidewalk detection technology, as well as a fund to fund street infrastructure upgrades.

A spokesperson for Lime told Australia Business Blog that the company was silenced by lawmakers after submitting the proposal. “At this stage, the city has not responded to any of the meeting requests and letters from Lime or the other two operators,” the spokesman said.