Dockless pogo sticks could be joining scooters on streets of Paris

Dockless pogo sticks could be coming to the streets of Paris soon - if a Swedish company has its way.

Dockless pogo sticks could be joining scooters on streets of Paris
The pogo stick is enjoying a new surge of popularity. Photo: AFP

Pedestrians in Paris may feel that they already have enough to deal with with the ubiquitous electric scooters, not to mention bikes, mopeds, hoverboards and of course cars. But the already fairly crowded shareable transport market could be getting a new addition in September – pogo sticks.

Swedish tech start-up Cangaroo has announced that it will be launching a fleet of shared, app-based pogo sticks in Malmo and Stockholm this summer.

And if the trial goes well, the company boss told French newspaper 20 Minutes that they would be expanding to Paris in September. 


Scooters on the streets of Paris. Photo: AFP

Adam Mikkelsen, co-founder of Malmo-based Cangoroo told French media: “If all goes well, we could deploy our pogo sticks in Paris in September.”

“In our opinion, jumping on a stick is fun and can burn a lot of calories. In addition, the lifespan of a pogo stick is much longer than that of an electric scooter. And we don't use lithium batteries.”

In recent years Paris has seen an explosion in dockless, app-based, shareable transport, starting with bike hire schemes such as Velib and expanding to electric scooters, or trottinettes.

However while they have proved popular with locals and tourists alike, the sheer number of machines has begun to cause problems for the city.

Scooters being ridden on the pavement are a particular bugbear of pedestrians, while drivers complain that scooters or bikes abandoned in unsuitable areas block parking spaces.

Earlier this month, the Paris mayor's office called together all the major players in the scooter market and gave them a voluntary 'good conduct' agreement to sign, to fend off the threat of further regulation or even a complete ban.

It is already illegal to ride a scooter on the pavement – punishable with a €135 fine – while parking in a way that could obstruct pedestrians or traffic gets a €35 fine.

Cangaroo is launching a fleet of around 100 dockless pogo sticks in Sweden this summer, with fees of around €1 for unlocking, then 20c a minute.

Adam added: “We really love Paris and have received a lot of good feedback and love from Parisians.”

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Paris considers ban on electric scooters after pedestrian’s death

Paris has threatened to ban e-scooters if their operators don't enforce speed limits and other rules after a pedestrian was knocked down and killed by two riders who fled the scene.

Paris considers ban on electric scooters after pedestrian's death
Photo: Ludovic MARIN / AFP.

Some 15,000 devices are available for rental across the city, where they are supposed to travel no faster than 20 km/h with one rider only, and only on streets or bike paths.

Critics say those rules are hardly enforced, and abandoned scooters are often seen scattered on sidewalks and squares.

“Either the situation improves significantly and scooters find their place in public areas without causing problems, in particular for pedestrians, or we are studying getting rid of them completely,” deputy mayor David Belliard, in charge of transportation, told AFP late on Tuesday.

“Other cities have done it,” he said, citing the Paris suburb of Issy-les-Moulineaux as well as New York and Barcelona.

On Saturday, police charged a nurse with aggravated manslaughter over a fatal collision earlier this month with a 32-year-old Italian woman living in Paris, who was standing on the banks of the Seine talking with friends when she was hit.

The rider and a passenger on the same scooter fled the scene and were found after a 10-day search.

The woman’s death, which brings to at least three the number of people fatally hit by e-scooters in Paris since 2019, revived the debate over allowing the devices on the city’s streets.

Belliard said he had summoned executives from the three e-scooter operators, Lime, Dott and Tier, telling them he had received “lots of negative feedback about scooters on sidewalks, the sense of insecurity, and scooters abandoned in the streets.”

Their contracts, which add nearly €1 million a year to the city’s coffers, run through October 2022, when they risk not being renewed, Belliard said.

He added that starting on Wednesday, operators must ensure that scooter speeds do not exceed 10 km/h in several “slow zones” in central Paris, including the popular Republique and Bastille squares, where the city has recently added large pedestrian zones.

Operators are able to install speed brakes that come on automatically if the scooter enters slow zones, which are programmed into the GPS units.