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

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

As reported by France 24, Hidalgo will allow Parisians to decide whether to allow e-scooter rentals to continue. The vote — expected to take place in April — means the three companies that operate in Paris will be kicking off a charm offensive to retain their place in a vital city for micromobility in Europe.

Critically, the outcome of the vote and the fate of e-scooters in Paris could have a wide-reaching effect around Europe and the way cities regulate micromobility vehicles.

But how did it get to this point?

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

The licences were issued as part of a much grander plan by Mayor Hidalgo to reduce car usage in the city but complaints over scooters being parked dangerously or reckless users have beset the programme. For example, tragically, a pedestrian was killed in 2021 when she was struck by an e-scooter rider on the footpath.

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

Last year, the situation came to a boiling point when Paris City Council told the three companies in September to make a significantly greater effort on safety.

The companies came up with a joint proposal, which included ID checks, licence plates and sidewalk detection technology as well as a fund for financing infrastructure upgrades on streets.

A spokesperson for Lime told The Next Web that after filing the proposal, the company was met with silence from lawmakers. “At this stage the City has not responded to any of the meeting requests and letters sent by Lime or the two other operators,” the spokesperson said.