Paris to Ban eScooter Rentals After Being Pioneer in Micromobility

electric scooters in Paris

Paris will ban electric scooter rental services effective Sept. 1.

The move follows a Sunday (April 2) referendum in which 89% of those who voted favored the ban, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported Sunday.

The French capital had been a pioneer in the urban transportation market and currently has three eScooter providers with contracts to operate in the city — Lime, Dott and Tier Mobility — according to the report.

Proponents of the ban argued that rental scooters clog sidewalks, play a role in a growing number of traffic accidents and injuries, and reduce the use of public transportation, the report said.

The eScooter providers countered that they have worked to refine the use of the scooters, that the scooters serve 400,000 users and perform 1.2 million trips each month, and that they reduce carbon emissions by eliminating trips by car, per the report.

They also noted that only 7.5% of the registered voters in Paris participated in the referendum, according to the report.

In a statement posted on its website Monday (April 3), Tier Mobility said cities around the world are embracing eScooters as a form of low-carbon transportation and that the firm is ready to work with authorities on regulatory frameworks.

“Moving away from shared eScooters also means that Paris is isolating itself from the rest of the world with major capitals like Washington, Madrid, Rome, London, Berlin or Vienna that are all implementing policies supporting eScooters as ways to reduce unnecessary car usage,” Tier Mobility said in the statement.

This is the first time that a city that entered into contracts with eScooter providers turned around and banned their operation, the WSJ report said.

As PYMNTS reported in November 2022, the three eScooter operators in Paris announced upgrades to their safety requirements following threats from city officials to not renew operating licenses.

The new measures included requiring age verification to access the pay-as-you-ride scooters and the installation of license plates on the scooters in a bid to increase accountability for reckless driving.

Regulations offer new opportunities for the micromobility sector, Georgia Yexley, U.K. and Ireland general manager at Tier Mobility, told PYMNTS in an interview posted in May 2022.

“People want to use light electric vehicles, they want to reduce their carbon footprint, but they also need low barriers to access to be able to do that [and] they also need to be safe,” Yexley said at the time.

For all PYMNTS EMEA coverage, subscribe to the daily EMEA Newsletter.