E-scooter ban in Paris goes into effect on 31 August 2023

Posted: 1 September 2023 | | No comments yet

Paris enacted a historic e-scooter ban on 31 August 2023, following an overwhelming citizen referendum vote in April 2023, marking a significant shift in the city’s transportation landscape and setting a potential model for other urban areas.

Paris enacted a historic e-scooter ban on 31 August 2023

In a historic decision following a citizen consultation held in April 2023, Parisians had voted overwhelmingly in favour of banning rented e-scooters from the streets of Paris. As of 31 August 2023, the ban has officially gone into effect, marking a significant shift in the city’s transportation landscape.

The citizen referendum, which had taken place on 2 April 2023, had seen 89.03% of the 103,084 participants voting against the presence of rented scooters in the city. This resounding rejection sent a clear message to both operators and city officials. The results had been announced by Yves Charpenel, President of the Control Commission, who had praised the smooth and incident-free voting process.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo expressed her gratitude to the residents who participated in the referendum, hailing it as a “great democratic success” for the city. She said: “Once again Paris innovates. I also want to salute all the municipal agents who ensured the smooth running of operations in the 203 polling stations as well as the members of the control commission.”

The ban has immediate consequences for the three major e-scooter operators in Paris: Dott, Lime and TIER Mobility. They were required to remove approximately 5,000 electric scooters from the city’s streets by midnight on 31 August 2023. As the majority of designated scooter parking spaces will be re-purposed into bicycle parking lots, the ban represents a significant shift in the city’s approach to urban mobility.

Parisians have expressed concerns about the safety and clutter caused by the proliferation of e-scooters in recent years, prompting this decisive referendum. The ban comes as part of the city’s efforts to re-shape its urban transportation ecosystem, promote sustainable mobility options and address the growing challenges posed by shared e-scooters.

Halting the progress of e-scooters: Why is Paris taking a step backwards?

The ban on e-scooters, which has just taken effect in the City of Paris, is expected to bring about significant and long-lasting changes to how people move around the city. In addition, it has the potential to inspire and guide other urban centres facing similar challenges related to the growing presence of e-scooters.

Back in April 2023, when the results of the referendum had been announced, industry members expressed their concerns about the ban:

The official joint statement from Dott, Lime and TIER Mobility noted: “We regret that Parisians will lose a shared and green transport option. The result of this vote will have a direct impact on the travel of 400,000 people per month, 71% of whom are 18-35 year old residents. It is a step back for sustainable transport in Paris ahead of the 2024 Olympics.”

Pauline Aymonier, Co-Chair of Micro-Mobility for Europe (MMfE), said: “MMfE naturally regrets the outcome of the referendum, which we believe will have a detrimental impact on Paris’ ability to meet its sustainability targets. Whilst it is important to recognise the suboptimal conditions in which the voting took place, we most find regrettable that the ban could result in up to 10,000 extra car journeys per day, as highlighted by Transport & Environment.”

Erwann Le Page, Public Policy Director – Western Europe at TIER Mobility, said: “The referendum is all the more perplexing because owners of privately owned e-scooters are not affected by this vote, despite the comparative lack of regulation around their use compared to shared e-scooters. We fear that the Paris decision will cause a shift towards both car usage and the purchase and use of personal e-scooters.”