After months of discussion over whether to ban or further regulate the 15,000 rental e-scooters currently available in Paris, the city government has decided to put it to a vote.
The online referendum, to be held April 2, will pose the question “Do we or don’t we continue with free-floating rental scooters?”
City officials have made a number of attempts to deal with the issue over the past few years, reacting to complaints of speeding scooters on sidewalks, riding dangerously in traffic, parking in inappropriate places and just abandoning scooters, sometimes in canals or the Seine.
For the past two years, the city limited operation to three licensed companies, Lime, Dott and Tier, but their licenses are up for renewal in March, and there has been serious opposition to renewal. A warning in September resulted in operators proposing changes including license plates to make it easier to track violators, but David Belliard, the city's deputy mayor in charge of urban transport, still said a cost-benefit analysis did not favor the rental schemes.
Proponents of the scooters say they are a fast, non-polluting alternative to cars or crowded public transport, but the abuses have turned many Parisians against them. If a ban is imposed, it would not affect privately-owned scooters.