Paris clamps down on scooter startups

The City of Paris has had enough. There are currently 12 (yes, twelve) scooter startups in Paris. As reported by Le Monde, the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, announced in a press conference a series of restrictions to regulate the space.

First, there are just too many scooter startups — Bird, Bolt, Bolt by Usain Bolt, Circ, Dott, Hive, Jump, Lime, Tier, Voi, Ufo and Wind. They all have funny-sounding names and there are even two different companies with the same name (Bolt).

Paris plans to hand out two or three licenses to operate. The French government is currently working on a mobility law. The City of Paris plans to select companies after the parliament approves the law. As part of the selection process, they want to make sure that companies have a sustainable approach when it comes to fixing broken scooters and not dumping them after a few weeks. Companies will also be selected based on how they pay workers charging scooters overnight.

Paris had already taken some actions against scooter startups before today. You can’t ride a scooter on the pavement and scooter operators have to pay €50 per scooter per year.

And yet, there are already 20,000 scooters in the streets of Paris. That’s why the city is going one step further and banning scooters from parks. You also won’t be able to park a scooter on the pavement.

You have to find a parking spot for cars and put your scooter there. That sounds like a mess, and I’m not sure how it’s going to work, but it’s clear that there are too many scooters and not enough areas to park them in Paris right now.

While electric scooters aren’t as fast in Europe as in the U.S., Paris wants to limit top speed even more. The maximum speed will be 20kmph instead of 25kmph (12mph, down from 16mph).

Let’s see if Paris can implement those restrictions quickly and if scooter startups are going to comply with this new set of rules.