Electric scooter rental services in the City of Light have been officially banned, leading three major operators, Lime, Dott, and Tier, to withdraw their scooters from the Parisian streets. This decision comes after a prolonged period of mounting concerns related to safety, intoxicated riding, and parking issues associated with electric scooters.
Operating licenses were initially granted to the three companies in 2020, but the surge in complaints prompted the local government to take action. City Mayor Anne Hidalgo decided to put the fate of electric scooter rentals in the hands of Parisians, who voted overwhelmingly in favor of the ban, with a staggering 90 percent supporting the measure. Consequently, all electric scooter rentals ceased operations by the end of August 2023.
A recent report by Forbes revealed that there were more than 15,000 electric scooters deployed across the French capital, with each major operator employing different strategies to remove their vehicles. Dott acted swiftly, commencing clearance operations in mid-July and concluding on August 21. Lime followed suit, gradually withdrawing all its scooters throughout August, while Tier opted to maximize its time in Paris, conducting most of its retrieval efforts in the final two weeks.
The question now arises: What lies ahead for Dott, Lime, and Tier, and what will become of the thousands of electric scooters, many of which remain in good condition, that once populated the streets of Paris? These operators will continue to operate in the city, albeit with a shift in focus from e-scooter rentals to e-bike rentals, aligning with France's increasingly favorable perspective on cycling. Paris has made substantial investments in cycling infrastructure in recent years, making e-bike rentals a more viable and accepted alternative.
As for the surplus electric scooters, there are plans to reassign them to regions in France where e-scooter sharing is still permitted. Lime may deploy its excess scooters in the Ile de France region, while Dott could send its fleet to Lille. Additionally, there is the possibility of relocating these scooters to other European countries, opening new horizons for these vehicles beyond the streets of Paris.