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LIFE IN PARIS

Paris to cut number of electric scooter companies to just three

The city of Paris is opening bids for scooter firms to operate in the capital - and in January will select just three firms who will be licenced to operate fleets of dockless electric scooters.

Paris to cut number of electric scooter companies to just three
Photo: AFP

Since their introduction in 2018 the electric scooters – trotinettes eléctrique – have become popular with tourists and locals alike as a cheap and convenient way to get around the city.

Paris city authorities, however, have been less enamoured as they have frequently been left dealing with the mess left by the scooter companies – from regulating unsafe behaviour to clearing dumped and vandalised scooters out of the Seine.

There are currently 12 firms offering dockless electric scooters in Paris – although some have currently suspended their services – adding up to around 20,000 of the machines scattered around Paris.

After asking the companies to sign a voluntary code of conduct – and introducing a raft of new rules to regulate speed, parking and pavement etiquette – Paris city hall has now announced a tender process to choose just three firms who will be licensed to operate.

The tender process will be launched in “mid November” says City Hall and the contracts will be awarded from January.

Since the announcement of the tender process, several firms including Voi, Lime and Bird have been making announcements about setting up extra scooter repair facilities and hiring more staff on permanent contracts.

Paris is following in the footsteps of Marseille, which has already limited the number of scooter firms. Three companies – Voi, Bird and Ciric – were awarded licences in October and will each be allowed to operate 2,000 machines.

Last month scooters were added to the French highway code, which means they are now subject to rules of the road including speed limits and a ban on more than one person per scooter.

READ ALSO Speed limits and no sharing: These are the new laws on electric scooters in France

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TRAVEL

Striking workers block Paris airport terminal, flights delayed

Striking airport workers have blocked part Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport, with some flights already delayed by at least one hour.

Striking workers block Paris airport terminal, flights delayed
Striking airport workers outside Charles-de-Gaulle airport in Paris. Photo: Geoffroy van der Hasselt | AFP

Last month, trade unions representing workers at the Aéroports de Paris (ADP) – the city’s Charles-de-Gaulle-Roissy and Orly airports – called for a strike between July 1st and July 5th in an ongoing dispute between French airport workers and bosses over contract renegotiations.

A second wave of protests are expected next week, after a strike notice was filed for July 9th.

Tensions mounted on Friday morning as some 400 protesters staged a raucous demonstration at CDG’s terminal 2E, which mostly deals with flights outside the Schengen zone, as police officers looked on.

At Orly airport, meanwhile, some 250 people demonstrated “outside”, while a small group was inside.

The dispute is over a long-term plan by ADP to bring in new work contracts for employees at the airports, which unions say will lower pay, job losses and a reduction in rights and bonuses for employees.

The strike is being jointly called by the CGT, CFE-CGE, Unsa, CFDT and FO unions, who said in a joint press release that the proposals will “definitively remove more than a month’s salary from all employees and force them to accept geographical mobility that will generate additional commuting time”.

Unions say that staff face dismissal if they do not sign the new contracts.

ADP said on Wednesday that it expected ‘slight delays for some flights but no cancellations’ to services – but it urged travellers to follow its social media operations for real-time updates.

On Thursday, the first day of action, 30 percent of flights were delayed between 15 minutes and half-an-hour.

ADP’s CEO Augustin de Romanet had said on Tuesday that ‘everything would be done to ensure no flight is cancelled’. 

ADP reported a loss of €1.17 billion in 2020. 

Stressing that discussions are continuing over the proposed new contracts, the CEO called for “an effort of solidarity, with a red line: no forced layoffs.”

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