search burger
search ×

Paris is worth a Trottinette: the scooter referendum and the culture of shared mobility

Stop renting electric scooters


Shifting the focus, just for a day, from the protests against pension reform, Paris chose to put an end to the hiring of electric scooters. In one of those moments of direct democracy that we usually see in American films, Simpsons episodes and other select occasions (for some anthropological reason, such specific popular consultations very rarely take place in Italy), Parisians voted to eliminate the rental of the small, silent but insidious means of light mobility.

Few people voted, it is true, but as there was no quorum, the overwhelming majority who opted to stop the hire cars achieved the desired result, banning them. It will remain possible to circulate with private ones, which apparently could not be banned by the City of Paris. And which are evidently considered less numerous, less annoying or less intrusive than those for hire. From 1 September, therefore, the three trottinettes sharing companies, Lime, Dott and Tier Mobility, will have to take note that the city governed by the mayor Anne Hidalgo has chosen to do without their services.

Visualizza questo post su Instagram

Un post condiviso da Corriere della Sera (@corriere)

With the vote against shared scooters, apparently motivated by drivers' lack of civic sense combined with the abandonment of vehicles in not entirely appropriate places, Paris is reversing a trend it has always pioneered, that of shared vehicles. Decades ahead of Italy, the French capital has in fact introduced a wide choice of véhicules partagés, to be used to reduce the use of private vehicles and facilitate circulation in the great capital, reducing traffic and pollution.

It all started with Vélib (the French really like abbreviations), the fleet of shared bicycles that since 2007 (the traditional ones, from 2018 the electric ones) have been made available to the public, reaching 300,000 subscribers to the service by 2022. Then there is Mobilib', the car-sharing service operated by Communauto, Getaround and Ubeeqo. The very short term rental, even just 30 minutes, of electric hatchbacks is handled by Clem', which has several dozen vehicles around Paris. Even scooters, electric and petrol-powered, can be shared and used for a few minutes or entire months, through the services of Troopy, Cityscoot, Yego and Cooltra.

Visualizza questo post su Instagram

Un post condiviso da Agnieszka (@agotta_fotografia)

In short, it is not aversion to new forms of mobility, but an ill disposition towards an un-urban use of the vehicle. A situation that has probably also occurred in Rome, where new limits on electric scooters have been announced a year ago, with a reduction in their overall number, a reduction in their maximum speed, the imposition of identification plates to be able to fine the phenomena, and the obligation to return them at precise points without the possibility of dropping them off wherever they happen to be, including on pavements and the waters of the Tiber.

Image Jonas Jacobsson on Unsplash