Paris Becomes the First European Capital to Ban Rented Electric Scooters

As Paris was banning e-scooters, European cities of comparable size, like Berlin, threw their weight behind the devices. Berlin has five scooter operators and 40,000 registered e-scooters zooming across the city. “There’s always more,” the Berliner Zeitung, a local news outlet, recently commented.

The vote in Paris initially resonated in other French cities at a time when many were wondering how tightly to regulate the devices. Just after the vote, officials in Marseille, France’s second-largest city, said they were considering a similar vote. Ultimately, they dropped the idea, leaving Paris an outlier.

“Paris has an exceptional public transport system and plenty of bike lanes,” said Audrey Gatian, the deputy mayor for transportation in Marseille. “The situation is different here.” In Marseille, she believes, e-scooters play a crucial role in correcting the uneven distribution of public transport and in decreasing the reliance on cars.

Lime, the largest scooter operator in Paris, said it would not fire anyone as a result of the ban. But Dott, the second-largest operator, said it planned to fire 50 of its full-time workers and 50 of the seasonal workers it usually recruits when demand soars in summer.

Dott said it would try to offer its workers jobs in French cities like Lille, where operations are expanding. “It is a painful process,” Mr. Gorse said. But he said he was relieved that the City Hall and his company now shared a single objective.

“Everyone agrees on ramping up the bike service, especially with the Paris Olympics next summer,” he said.

Aurelien Breeden contributed reporting.

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