Parisians have overwhelmingly voted to banish for-hire e-scooters from the streets of the French capital, in a mini-referendum the mayor said sent a “very clear message”.
Approximately 15,000 e-scooters could now vanish from central Paris at the end of August when the city’s contracts with the three operators expire.
The question that City Hall asked voters in its citywide mini-referendum on Sunday was: “For or against self-service scooters in Paris?”
The result was not close. City Hall said on its website about 103,000 people voted, with 89% rejecting e-scooters and just 11% supporting them.
Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo hailed the vote as a success and repeated her vow to respect the outcome of the consultative referendum.
The voters’ “very clear message now becomes our guide”, she said. “With my team, we’ll follow up on their decision as I had pledged.”
Scattered around Paris, easy to locate and hire with a downloadable app and relatively cheap, the scooters are a hit with tourists who love their speed and the help-yourself freedom they offer.
But many Parisians complain that e-scooters are an eyesore and a traffic menace, and the micro-vehicles have been involved in hundreds of accidents.
Ms Hidalgo and some of her deputies campaigned to banish the “free floating” rental flotilla — so called because scooters are picked up and dropped off around town at their renters’ whim — on safety, public nuisance and environmental cost-benefit grounds before the capital hosts the Olympic Games next year.