Very low turnout, but overwhelming opposition: Parisians voted 89.03% on Sunday, April 2 against keeping the DC self-service electric bikesIt was a refusal that, without surprise, did not galvanize the masses.
Just over 100,000 people (103,084), registered on electoral rolls, voted against these two-wheeled vehicles. The socialist mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, has vowed to “respect the result pure and simple,” whatever it may be. She herself had called for a “against” vote, asserting that the evacuation of these scooters would alleviate the “nuisance” on the asphalt and sidewalks of the capital.
After welcoming them in 2018, Paris will thus become the first European capital to completely ban self-service scooters, at the end of contracts linking the city with three private operators Lime, Tier and Dott.
“On September 1, there will be no more self-service scooters in Paris,” confirmed Anne Hidalgo when announcing the results to the press after 11 p.m. She hailed “a beautiful day for participatory democracy, much better than opinion democracy and opinion polls”.
However, the poll was marked by a very low turnout, 7.46%, which the opponents of the commune did not fail to notice. “Parisians showed their deep disinterest in the vote (…) organized by Anne Hidalgo,” the commune right sneered in a press release. For his part, Paris Chancellor Pierre-Yves Bornazil (Horizons) denounced the “lack of commitment of the municipal executive” to these consultations.
Regretting that the poll is organized only in about twenty places in the capital, the scooter operators demanded, in vain, an electronic vote, and a larger crowd among young people, who are their first customers.
“The mobilization would have been broader and more representative if the voting methods had been different: more polling stations, electronic voting, municipal information,” the three private operators assessed in a joint press release. They warned that “the outcome of this vote will have a direct impact on the movements of 400,000 people per month.” Without forgetting to specify that it will also have consequences for the city’s finances, as the three leasing companies paid it about 930 thousand euros annually.
These companies, which operate 15,000 scooters between them, have tried everything to escape the eviction, fearing that it will send a negative signal to medium-sized cities that are reluctant to authorize the service. Including controversial methods, such as showing the freestyle race on Sunday and using social media influencers to mobilize their young clientele. “Legal”, defended Nicolas Gours, managing director of Dott France.
Operators have also warned of the economic consequences of the ban, with the scooter rental business in Paris accounting for 800 jobs. “Going forward, our priority as responsible employers is to ensure the future of our employees,” the three operators said Sunday evening.
Deputy Mayor for Transport David Billiard confirmed that the city council would “work with them on the social aspects” of the file.
Critics accuse electric scooters of being abandoned anywhere in public space, of herding pedestrians on sidewalks at full speed, or of having a bad carbon footprint. When mishandled, these two-wheeled vehicles — self-propelled or not — were involved in 408 crashes in Paris in 2022, in which three people were killed and 459 injured, according to authorities.
“We are satisfied. Self-catering is very accident-prone and very polluted (…), and is not compatible with dense cities like Paris, under the current conditions,” Arnaud Kielbasa, co-founder of Apacauvi, an association that advocates for victims, told AFP on Sunday evening. scooter accidents.