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.