Non! Paris to Ban Rented Electric Scooters After City-Wide Referendum

PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 29: A man rides a Lime electric scooter in front of the Louvre pyram
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Rental electric scooters are to go the way of the dodo in Paris after residents of the city voted to ban them in a referendum on Sunday.

Between riots, strikes, and mountains of trash, the average citizen of Paris has plenty to worry about, with 2023 seeing France as a whole descend into political chaos amid a cost-of-living crisis and Macron’s botched pension reforms.

One thing they will soon not have to worry about however is being run over by a rented electric scooter, with a city-wide referendum on banning the method of transport passing with flying colours on Sunday.

According to a report by the Associated Press, around 89 per cent of voters who turned out to the referendum voted to ban the vehicle, despite attempts to stack the deck from rental agencies, who offered Parisians free scooter trips on the day of the ballot.

“Parisians have massively expressed themselves against keeping shared e-scooters,” Paris Mayor, Socialist Party politician and anti-scooter campaigner Anne Hidalgo declared upon the passing of the referendum, which — despite not being legally binding — she says she fully intends to abide by.

The Mayor has now reportedly committed herself to ridding the city of the scooters by September 1, the date the city’s contracts with three companies renting the devices are set to expire.

News of the rented electric scooter’s demise in Paris is likely to be greeted with much joy by many, not just within the borders of the French capital, but in other cities throughout the West.

Having exploded in popularity over the last number of years, the mode of transport has become extremely controversial in many cities and countries as accidents involving them have started to pile up, and discarded rentals litter pavements, disadvantaging pedestrians.

According to data published back in 2019, there were at least 1,545 injuries and deaths caused in the United States as a result of accidents involving e-scooters.

Casualties of scooters are also on the rise in the United Kingdom, with there being 429 serious injuries and 12 deaths as a result of scooters in 2022, the latter being three times 2021’s figure.

With Paris being one of the first cities to mainstream the streetside rental of scooters, some are starting to hope the city’s decision to ban the vehicles could spread further afield as people get more and more annoyed at their continued existence.

Not all are happy, though. France’s transport minister, Clément Beaune, attacked the referendum as being a “democratic failure“. Although the city’s mayor heralded the vote as giving those in the city the chance to have their say on the issue, the just eight per cent turnout for the referendum was branded “humiliating” by the Macron government minister, tainting its result.

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