While Paris banned electric scooters, European cities of comparable size, such as Berlin, threw their weight behind these devices. Berlin has five scooter operators and 40,000 registered e-scooters roaming the city. “There are always more”, recently commented the Berliner Zeitung, a local media.
The Paris vote first resonated with other French cities at a time when many were wondering how to tightly regulate these devices. Immediately after the vote, officials in Marseille, France’s second-largest city, said they were considering a similar vote. Eventually they dropped the idea, leaving Paris as an exception.
“Paris has an exceptional public transport system and many cycle paths,” said Audrey Gatian, deputy mayor in charge of transport for Marseille. “The situation is different here.” In Marseille, she believes, electric scooters play a crucial role in correcting the unequal distribution of public transport and reducing car use.
Lime, the largest scooter operator in Paris, said it would not fire anyone as a result of the ban. But Dott, the second-largest operator, said it planned to lay off 50 of its full-time workers and 50 of the seasonal workers it usually hires when demand soars in the summer.
Dott said he would try to offer his workers jobs in French cities like Lille, where operations are expanding. “It’s a painful process,” Mr. Gorse said. But he said he was relieved that the town hall and his company now share a single goal.
“Everyone agrees to strengthen the bicycle service, especially in the run-up to the Paris Olympics next summer,” he said.
Aurelien Breeden contributed reports.