Riding a scooter in Paris will quickly become excruciatingly sluggish. The city of Paris has stated that scooter sharing services would be limited to a peak speed of 10 kilometers per hour (6.2 miles per hour). Following a series of pedestrian injuries using a scooter, the decision was made.
For scooter sharing firms, Paris has been a key market. It is a densely populated city with a well-developed network of bike lanes. There are also a large number of tourists seeking new ways to see the city. Because of these factors, the situation used to be a little out of hand, 16 different scooter companies sought to run a fleet of scooters in Paris at one time. In the end, Paris chose three firms and established a set of criteria. For the next two years, Dott, Lime, and Tier have granted licences to operate shared electric scooters.
Things have been going nicely for those three firms since then. Dott raised $85 million in a combination of equity and asset-backed debt financing this year, Tier just raised $200 million in debt and equity, and Lime recently finished a $523 million convertible debt and term loan-funding round.
Except that, scooters have become a public safety concern not only for riders but also for pedestrians. Scooters were involved in 298 incidents in 2021 alone, according to the AFP. Three hundred and twenty-nine people were hurt, and two individuals died. In June 2021, for example, a significant occurrence occurred. At night, two women were riding a scooter along the Seine. They ran over a pedestrian and abandoned her. She passed away at the hospital a few days later.
Following the disaster, the relationship between the City of Paris and scooter entrepreneurs never truly recovered. The Tuileries and Palais Royal gardens, as well as the Bastille and République squares, were among a dozen pedestrian-heavy sites identified by Paris on July 1st. Using real-time geolocation, scooter sharing providers agreed to limit the maximum speed to 10 km/h in selected regions. The City of Paris asked each arrondissement administration in September to provide a list of sites where scooters’ peak speed should be limited to 10 km/h. As a result, a patchwork of 700 slow zones emerged. Moreover, the scooter companies agreed to include certain zones in their services.
The City of Paris, on the other hand, wants to go even further. Except for a few streets with large lanes for bikes, scooters, and other micromobility vehicles, the whole city has become a slow zone for scooter companies. Of course, if you have your own scooter, such limitations will not apply to you. The new scooter sharing service limits will go into effect in the first half of December. The scooter tender has been prolonged by six months, which is the only positive news. Dott, Lime, and Tier’s scooter licenses will be valid until February 2023. However, the new laws that went into effect today might have a considerable impact on usage in Paris.
In other developments, the city of Paris has announced that free-floating electric mopeds will regulate. Cityscoot, Cooltra, Lime, Yego, and Troopy are the five firms now functioning in Paris. Other firms are planning a debut in Paris as well. Permits will be used to restrict mopeds in Paris. It will function similarly to scooter permits, with the exception that the licenses will be valid for five years. In Paris, only two or three businesses will be able to run a fleet of mopeds. On September 1, 2022, the new system will go into effect.