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Paris turns the page on self-service scooters

For Amanda Rollins, American influencer, getting around her adopted city will no longer be the same on September 1, when the 15,000 self-service scooters will have disappeared from the streets of the French capital. so nice!” enthuses the 33-year-old content creator, who has been living in France for six years and has 740,000 subscribers on TikTok. The arrival of these devices overnight in 2018, “it was like Christmas”, she says. Today, their disappearance will last more than a night: the three private operators Dott, Lime and Tier Mobility have been on the bridge for several days to remove them from the streets by the end of the month when Paris will become the first European capital to completely ban these self-service two-wheelers. The “no” had won nearly 90% of an unprecedented “vote” in early April on maintaining the service, but only 7.46% of those registered on the electoral lists had moved. The socialist mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, had herself campaigned for the vote “against”, stressing that the eviction of these scooters would reduce “nuisance”. The influencer, ” Americanfille” on the networks, which multiplies the videos on his Parisian life and advice to visitors, says he has received a rain of disappointed messages. Daily trips, visits… the scooters were also “a safety net” to return after a evening beyond the metro’s closing time, around 1 a.m., explains Ms. Rollins. Some 400,000 people have chosen a scooter to get around in 2022, according to the operators. – Collection – At Tier, “it’s a big page that turns”, notes Clément Pette, head of operations in France. Some 3,000 machines out of 5,000 remain to be collected, at the rate of 500 per night. Concretely, “every evening, we close an area” of Paris where the scooters will be collected the following night by employees and their vans, and where they can no longer be dropped off by users afterwards. The territory is thus colored in red on the application, until only a central zone is left from this weekend, open until the last moment. The two-wheelers are then sent to the central warehouse, repaired, then transferred to other cities: a third will remain in Ile de France, in 80 municipalities around Marne-la -Valley or Saint-Germain-en-Laye. The rest goes mainly to Germany. Paris “is a unique case”, says Mr. Pette. Dott began to withdraw the scooters in mid-July and has already deactivated the rental in its application. They will be sent to Belgium or Tel Aviv (Israel). At Lime, Paris without scooters, “it will make us strange”, confides Xavier Miraillès, director of public affairs. Lime does not close areas, but the withdrawal will gradually rarefy the machines, which are also repaired before leaving the capital for Lille, London, Copenhagen and German cities. Dozens of scooters from the Californian company await their passage through the hands of mechanics in a hall of an industrial zone in Charenton-le-Pont, at the gates of Paris.- Bicycles – Two thirds of the fleet have already been picked up and “we have turned the page on scooters” for the whole of Ile de France, notes the Lime representative, assuring that the “loss economy” linked to the Paris market can be absorbed, without layoffs “this year”. Operators are betting on shifting their customers to bicycles, already offered by everyone. demand permits, explains Mr. Pette, and Lime already offers 10,000 bicycles. Of the fifty employees employed by Dott for its scooters, around ten should be transferred to its bicycle rental activity. A job safeguard plan (PSE) is being validated. In addition to bicycles, daily users could also invest: “the shared electric scooter is a gateway to the acquisition of a personal scooter”, summarizes Anne de Bortoli, researcher at the CIRAIG laboratory in Montreal. As for tourists, “the bicycle is an alternative” but “it’s not the same thing, it’s bigger and heavier… it’s not so agile “, laments Amanda Rollins. “But it will definitely be the best solution.”ys/jbo/clc

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