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Parisians have overwhelmingly voted to banish the French capital’s ubiquitous for-hire electric scooters from their streets.
The 15,000 opinion-dividing mini-machines are now expected to vanish from central Paris at the end of August when the city’s contracts with the three operators expire.
The question City Hall asked voters in a citywide mini-referendum was: “For or against self-service scooters in Paris?”
The result wasn’t close. City Hall said just over 103,000 people voted, with 89% rejecting e-scooters and just 11% supporting them. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo hailed the consultative referendum as a success and said its outcome was “very clear.”
Many Parisians welcomed the news, including self-described pedestrian Hila Charon.
“There are many accidents (because) people don’t pay attention to how they ride,” Charon said.
Others held out hope that the e-scooters won’t be banned outright.
“It is a shame because it answers a real need, people were happy to have them, but I still hope they won’t simply ban them but rather improve regulations,” said Michael Yadan, who often cycles.
The vote had been open to all of Paris’ 1.38 million registered voters, but the low turnout has been criticized by the scooter companies.
“The result is based on only around 100,000 cast votes, which equals a voter turnout of 7.46%,” said TIER mobility spokesman Florian Anders.
A joint statement from Lime, Dott and TIER pointed to “restrictive voting methods” that didn’t include either online or proxy voting and that voting locations were limited on a day when the French capital hosted a marathon that forced some road closures.
In the five years since their introduction, following in the wake of shared cars and shared bicycles, for-rent scooters have also built a following among some Parisians who don’t want or can’t afford their own but like the option to escape the Metro and other public transport. 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, some fatal.
This article was provided by The Associated Press.