E-scooters were banned in the referendum held in Paris, the capital of France. It was the first city to ban these vehicles, which are the target of criticism in mega cities such as Paris and Istanbul.
The people living in Paris, the capital of France, went to the polls set up all over the city last Sunday and voted for the future of e-scooters. An overwhelming majority of Parisians voted to ban electric scooters on the streets of the French capital. Paris, the first city to ban e-scooters, apparently has the same fundamental problems as Istanbul.
Paris VS e-scooter
The rate of those who wanted e-scooters to be banned in the referendum was 89 percent, but the extremely limited participation in the voting caused questions. Because only 7-8 percent of the Paris electorate went to vote, which corresponds to approximately 103 thousand people. According to the result of the referendum initiated by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, the fleet of 15,000 e-scooters belonging to Lime, Dott and Tier, which signed a contract to operate in the City of Light, will be withdrawn from the city until 1 September.
Hidalgo initially welcomed the rental share e-scooters in Paris and created use cases with the necessary city regulations. But the shared scooters have drawn the backlash from many city dwellers, who complained of reckless driving and clutter on the sidewalks. Hidalgo said on Sunday that the scooters caused a large number of accidents and that a 10-minute ride cost around €5, making its business model too expensive to be sustainable.
Solution Turns into Problem
According to Hidalgo, rental e-scooters failed to deliver on their initial promise. Rental e-scooters were expected to reduce car use, but they seem to have mostly replaced walking or public transport rather than driving, despite being immensely popular. According to the latest data, e-scooters were able to steer 7 percent of people away from cars. This rate is very low, according to Hélène Chartier, urban planning director of C40, the global network of mayors taking urgent action on climate change. Chartier also says that e-scooters were initially seen as a solution but are now becoming a problem. Chartier underlines the need for more investment in cycling, e-bikes and walking.
Cities around the world, meanwhile, are tightening regulations on e-scooters, including the number of operators, speed and where they can park. In 2021, 24 people died in scooter-related accidents in France, including one in Paris. There were 459 accidents with e-scooters and similar vehicles in Paris last year, three of which were fatal. Accessed via smartphone apps, electric scooters have been operating in Paris since 2018, but in 2020 Paris had reduced the number of operators to three, amid complaints about their anarchic deployment.