By Chris King • 26 August 2023 • 16:07
Image of man riding an electric scooter.
ON September 1, the 15,000 self-service scooters that have been available in Paris will disappear from the streets of the French capital.
Dott, Lime and Tier Mobility – the three private operators who supply these scooters – have been busy for several days removing them from the streets. By the end of the month, Paris will become the first European capital to completely ban these self-service two-wheelers.
In early April, an unprecedented vote on maintaining this service received an almighty ‘no’ of 90 per cent. However, it was revealed that only 7.46 per cent of those registered on the electoral lists had bothered to cast a vote.
Anne Hidalgo, the socialist mayor of Paris, had personally campaigned for the vote, stressing that the eviction of these scooters would reduce ‘nuisance’ on the streets.
Clément Pette, the operations manager for Tier in France said the action was: ‘a big page that turns’. Some 3,000 scooters out of 5,000 are still to be collected, at the rate of 500 per night.
He explained how they collect their products in one area of the city each night. They are then collected the following night by employees with their vans, where the scooters can no longer be dropped off by users afterwards.
Each cleared territory is then coloured in red on the company’s application, until only a central zone is left this weekend, open until the last moment.
The two-wheelers are then sent to the central warehouse, repaired, and then transferred to other cities. A third of them will remain in Ile de France, in 80 municipalities around Marne-la-Vallée or Saint-Germain-en-Laye. The rest will be sent mainly to Germany.
Dott began removing its scooters in mid-July and has already disabled the rental option in its app. They will be sent to Belgium or Tel Aviv in Israel. Paris without scooters, ‘will make us feel strange’, commented Xavier Miraillès, the director of public affairs for Lime.
Lime has not been closing specific areas, but the withdrawal will gradually rarefy the machines, which are also repaired before leaving the capital for Lille, London, Copenhagen and various German cities.
Dozens of scooters from the Californian company await their passage through the hands of mechanics in the warehouse of an industrial zone in Charenton-le-Pont, just outside Paris.
Two-thirds of the Lime fleet has already been picked up and: ‘we have turned the page on scooters ‘ for the whole of Ile de France, noted the Lime representative. He assured that the economic loss linked to the Parisian market can be absorbed, without layoffs ‘this year’.
The scooter operators are counting on the transfer of their customers to bicycles instead. As Clément Pette explained, Tier plans to increase its current fleet of 5,000 bikes – if demand allows – to 10,000 bikes.
Of the 50 or so employees employed by Dott for its scooters, around 10 will be transferred to its bicycle rental business. A job protection plan (PSE) is currently being validated, according to lavoixdunord.fr.
In addition to bicycles, daily users could also invest. ‘The shared electric scooter is a gateway to the acquisition of a personal scooter’, suggested Anne de Bortoli, a researcher at the CIRAIG laboratory in Montreal.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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