1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Paris bids rental e-scooters 'adieu'

September 1, 2023

There'll be no more rental scooters zipping through the French capital's streets or parked awkwardly.

People using electric scooters in streets of Paris, France on August 8
The ban follows a referendum held by the city of Paris on April 2Image: Joly Victor/ABACA/picture alliance

A ban on rental electric scooters went into effect in Paris on Friday after Parisians voted to remove the devices from the city's streets earlier this year.

The French capital is the first in Europe to ban the rented vehicles from its streets after it was also one of the first major cities to embrace them in 2018.

In April, 89% of voters elected to remove them, albeit on a tiny turnout of 7.5%.

The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, had advocated for removing scooters, saying it would reduce "nuisance."

Rental scooters brought 'anarchy'

Paris recorded about 20 million trips on 15,000 rental scooters in 2022, but it also registered 459 accidents involving e-scooters or similar vehicles in the same year, three of them fatal.

In the five years the free-floating scooters were available on Paris streets, they became a source of tension.

Some residents complained streets were being clogged up by parked scooters, and others cited safety concerns.

"The anarchy was quite unbearable," David Belliard, deputy Paris mayor in charge of urban mobility, said.

Streets cleared of rental scooters

Some of the operators hope customers will switch to floating hire bicycles, which all of them already have on offer.

Not everyone is convinced it will be the same, though.

"Those bikes are big and heavy... not as agile", Amanda Rollins, a Paris-based American influencer with 740,000 TikTok subscribers who has posted about her love of scooters, said.

A person using a e-scooter in Paris looks at Seine with the Eiffel Tower in the background
Tier, one of the operators of e-scooters, has been removing 400 scooters per day over the last few weeksImage: Joly Victor/ABACA/picture alliance

The majority of Paris's rental scooters are heading to other cities, including Lille in northern France, London, Copenhagen, and Berlin.

"It makes me sad because I liked so much to be able to get around like that, go wherever without the stress of using a car, getting stuck in traffic jams," scooter user Valerie Rinckel said.

lo/jcg (AFP, dpa)