Parisians voted overwhelmingly in favour of a ban (Picture: Mathias Reding via Unsplash)

Paris votes to ban rental e-scooters

Residents of Paris have voted to ban rental e-scooters from the French capital in a landmark referendum.

Almost 90% of votes cast on Sunday, April 2, favoured a ban of shared e-scooter schemes.

The referendum was called in response to a rising number of people being injured and killed, as three people died and 459 were injured in e-scooter accidents in Paris last year.

Parisians were asked: “Do we or don’t we continue with free-floating rental scooters?”

Of the 1,382,322 people registered on the Parisian electoral lists, 103,084 voters took part in the ballot across 21 polling stations.

According to official figures, “for self-service scooters” received 11,256 votes, 10.97% of the total cast, and “against self-service scooters” received 91,385 votes, 89.03% of the total cast.

The vote was non-binding but city authorities have promised to follow the will of its residents.

Paris’s mayor, Anne Hidalgo, has promoted cycling and bike-sharing but previously supported a ban on e-scooters.

Following the result, she said: “This evening, the Parisians who spoke overwhelmingly spoke out against self-service scooters.

“Their very clear message now becomes our roadmap. With my team, we will follow through on their decision as I promised.”

The result means around 15,000 e-scooters from three micromobility operators – Lime, Dott and Tier – could now be removed from the city’s streets.

A spokesperson for Dott told The Independent that the decision was “a step back” for sustainable transport in Paris.

The referendum will not impact the use of private e-scooters which have previously been described by Ms Hidalgo as “not a problem”.

Read more: France raises e-scooter age limit and increases fines ahead of Paris referendum 

The ban makes Paris an exception among major cities but could encourage European counterparts to follow suit with similar concerns around safety shared by other nations.

Last year, the micromobility operators in the French capital proposed a series of stringent new safety measures, which would make Paris “the city with the strictest scooter regulation in the world”, according to Lime’s public affairs director Garance Lefevre.

These measures included user age verification, vehicle registration plates, bans for repeat offenders, and financing of adapted e-scooters for disabled users.

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