France, in Paris consultative referendum on rental electric scooters

The referendum submitted to Parisians today is only consultative, but the mayor Anne Hidalgo promises that the will of the people will be binding for her: “Are you for or against self-service scooters in Paris?”. The poster popped up all over the streets of the French capital, urging citizens to go and vote today on what has become a bone of contention among many Parisians, five years after the public rental service was introduced. Polls open from 9 to 19 and 1270 public agents mobilized for the vote. The consultation potentially affects 1.3 million registered on the electoral lists.

The mayor: “Referendum consultative only”

“This Sunday, April 2, you will decide the future of self-service scooters in Paris,” the socialist mayor said on Twitter this week, for whom “this citizen vote, which is a first time, is similar to a referendum even if it has no legal form.The referendum is advisory only, with the mayor’s office having the last word, but Anne Hidalgo, who is personally in favor of the ban: “The opinion of the Parisians will be binding on me.”

The controversy

Critics, including the mayor, denounce that scooters are abandoned everywhere in public spaces, that they whiz past pedestrians on the sidewalks and that they constitute a “bad environmental balance”, since, despite being electric, they are thrown away after a few months. After the death of a 32-year-old Italian woman in June 2021, hit by an electric scooter with two people on board, Paris has forced operators to limit speeds to 10km/h in 700 densely populated areas.