Paris is planning to regulate electric scooters with fines for riding on the sidewalk. It will also establish designated parking and an annual tariff for scooter operators.
Ahead of the national law on electric scooters expected for this year, the Paris council voted to impose a €135 fine for riding on the sidewalks and a €35 fine for blocking the sidewalks, the city informed on its website. The City of Lights will also remove illegally parked scooters.
The priority is to protect pedestrians
The city council has adopted measures to regulate the use of electric scooters, aiming to protect pedestrians. Furthermore, a new mobility law is expected to enter into force around the same time.
Municipal authorities said that the city supported new forms of clean mobility. They recognized they represent useful alternatives to polluting vehicles. However, they also said that it is necessary to regulate their presence in the streets of the French capital.
Authorities assure that the growing use of stand-up electric scooters over past months poses several problems that must be solved at once. Their use on the sidewalks puts pedestrians at risk, especially children and old people. Scooter parking, often anarchic, hinders parents with prams and people in wheelchairs.
The city quickly alerted the government of this concerning situation and proposed that the future mobility law contains a clear legal framework for electric scooters. Unfortunately, this draft law, originally programmed for the Fall of 2018, was delayed to the Spring of 2019, and has not been introduced for vote.
Measures for electric scooters
While waiting for the law to be passed, the municipality has decided to establish its own regulating mechanisms, divided into four pillars. The move seeks to contribute, organize, regulate, and control electric scooter transit in urban areas:
- Penalizing abuse: Electric scooter users that ride on the pavement will be subject to receiving a €135 fine. Parked scooters that block that sidewalk will also receive a €35 fine, and the city will move to remove them. The measures will be enforced by the Paris municipal police, which has increased controls over the past days.
- Limited parking: Over the coming weeks, Paris will create designated parking areas marked by a sign painted on the floor. Users will be asked to park the scooters after completing their travel. Nearly 2,500 designated parking spots should be available by 2019. The municipality plans to make it compulsory for riders to use them.
- Training operators: Nine companies offer electric motorcycle renting services in Paris. With their help, the municipality has developed a letter of good practices. This guide proposes the same principles implemented for bicycle renting. Scooter companies will be asked to sign this letter by late May.
- Regulating the existing fleet: There are nearly 15,000 available in the streets of Paris. This number is constantly rising and could reach 40,000 by the end of the year. In order to regulate this fleet, the municipality introduced a fee for companies. The amount per unit will increase according to the number of scooters they have (from €50 to €65 per unit).
A viable alternative
Several European cities already offer exclusive parking for scooters. In December, Madrid ordered Voi, Wind, and Lime had to remove their scooters from the streets, arguing they had not respected the scooters’ designated operation area.
Nine companies – including California-based leaders in the market Lime and Bird – have nearly 15,000 electric scooters in Paris. The city estimates this number could increase to 40,000 by the end of the year. Brands such as Bolt, Wind, and Voi have hundreds of scooters in the streets of the capitol.
These firms must pay an annual fee of at least €50 per unit for the first 499 scooters. This amount would increase to €65 per unit for companies that operate more than 3,000 scooters, the city said. Also, bicycle service operators will pay €20 to €26 a year per unit.
For more information, check Energía16