afaqs! news bureau

Paris bans shared e-Scooters

City authorities have imposed a ban on the rental e-scooters, that could be found in the city since the past five years.

Paris has enacted a ban on shared electric scooters, making it the first European capital to do so, on August 31. This decision follows a vote in April that had strong support from , despite a low voter turnout.

Privately owned e-scooters are unaffected by the ban. Paris, which opened its streets to shared e-scooter market in 2018, saw the removal of its final 15,000 e-scooters on Thursday.

The rental e-scooters have been operating in the city for the past five years in an experimental phase. These scooters could be left anywhere to be picked up by someone via a mobile app. Although popular with Parisian, these electric scooters have posed regulatory challenges for the city.

Over the years, concerns over safety, pedestrian congestion, and scooters cluttering streets have been voiced by politicians in Paris. They have questioned the exact environmental impact of e-scooters.

Often, these vehicles operated in a legal gray area while authorities established rules for operators, imposed fleet size limits, and regulated parking.

According to the Paris police headquarters, e-scooters, whether rented or privately owned, were involved in three fatal accidents in 2022, with 459 people sustaining injuries in e-scooter-related incidents.

Paris has implemented one of the strictest bans globally. Several cities, including San Francisco and Miami, temporarily banned e-scooters before later permitting them. Santa Monica, California, even filed a lawsuit against an e-scooter operator over licensing issues.

New York postponed the arrival of e-scooters due to security concerns. E-scooter users in the city are now adjusting to the absence of an affordable and flexible transportation option, particularly as an alternative to the crowded metro or the frequently overwhelmed Vélib' bike-sharing system.

The Guardian reports David Belliard, the Green deputy mayor responsible for transport and public spaces in Paris, saying that the ban is a part of the broader efforts to calm and declutter public spaces in the city, adding that it is possible to live in a big city without an electric scooter rental scheme.

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