Paris, once a pioneer in the use of rentable e-scooters, is now leading the way again, this time in banning e-scooters from the city.
Author: House of Eden
- Paris bans e-scooters after referendum
- Study doubts the sustainability of e-scooters
- Implications for micromobility and urban planning
A ban on renting e-scooters came into force in Paris on September 1, with the exception of private scooters. In recent months, the three operating companies, namely Tier, Dott and Lime, have had to remove a total of 15.000 e-scooters from Paris and relocate them to new areas of operation.
Measures to prevent the ban
In December 2022, Paris introduced stricter regulations for e-scooter rentals in hopes of circumventing the ban. However, these efforts proved unsuccessful. The city required users to scan their ID cards when registering and mounted license plates on the scooters. Paris also reduced speed limits to 10 km/h in many areas and encouraged operating companies to ban problem users. With these measures, the city pursued the goal of minimizing traffic violations related to the scooters, better monitoring them and enforcing accountability.
Reasons for the e-scooter ban
The reasons for the ban are complex. E-scooter users often disregarded the traffic rules and left the scooters parked wildly on sidewalks or on the side of the road. Reckless scooter riding resulted in 459 injuries and three deaths last year. The operating companies have been criticized for not taking sufficient action against problematic users. Oversight of stalling regulations was neglected and companies cut back on staff, making enforcement of the rules more difficult.
The decision in Paris
In April, the decision was made in a referendum organized by Mayor Anne Hidalgo. Only 7% of eligible voters took part in the elections. This met with criticism because the elections were local and no online participation was possible. The elections mainly attracted older people, although most regular users are young adults. Only 11% of the participating voters were in favor of keeping the e-scooters in the city.
The future of e-scooters and urban mobility
The ban on e-scooters in Paris could have an impact on other cities. The debate about the role of e-scooters in urban mobility could reignite. Despite the negative aspects, e-scooters also offer opportunities to reduce the carbon footprint. For example, through better integration into local public transport. Cities need to carefully weigh the pros and cons of e-scooters to create a sustainable and livable environment for their residents.
The operating companies plan to compensate for the decline in e-scooters by increasing the number of e-bikes, as these are not affected by the ban. Lime already has 10.000 e-bikes in Paris, Dott and Tier each have 5.000 e-bikes and aim to increase these numbers. However, it is still unclear whether e-bikes can completely replace e-scooters. Many e-scooter users do not want to switch to e-bikes because they require more physical effort.
Are e-scooters really sustainable?
The ban on e-scooters raises the question of whether e-scooters are a sustainable alternative to conventional mobility or whether they are more of an obstacle to environmentally friendly means of transport.
A study by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH) examined the environmental impact of e-scooters and found that they do more harm than good to the climate. The study shows that shared e-scooters mainly replace more environmentally friendly modes of transport such as public transport, bicycles and pedestrian walkways. A surprising finding was the difference between private ownership and the sharing model. Shared e-scooters emit more CO2 than the modes of transport they replace, while private e-scooters emit less CO2 than the modes of transport they replace.