Paris announces the 3 firms licenced to operate electric scooters in capital

Paris authorities have announced the three companies that have won licences to operate electric scooters in the capital, part of a project to clamp down on unrestricted scooter hire.

Paris announces the 3 firms licenced to operate electric scooters in capital
Just three companies will now be licenced to operate scooters in Paris. Photo: AFP

The huge proliferation of dockless electric scooters (trottinette electrique) has become something of a headache for Paris authorities and there have been several local bylaws introduced aiming at clamping down on anti-social scooter riding.

After introducing speed limits and banning riding on the pavement, Paris City Hall then introduced a code of conduct for the hire companies to sign up to, which included doing more to deal with broken, abandoned or trashed scooters which were soon littering the city.

However at the end of 2019 authorities decided that more regulation was needed and announced that only three companies would in future be licenced to hire out the scooters in Paris.

Abandoned scooters regularly have to be fished out of the waterways. Photo: AFP

In total 16 applications were received and on Thursday the winning three were announced; Lime, Dott and Tier.

Each operator will be permitted to rent a maximum of 5,000 scooters, a cut to the more than 30,000 scooters available at present.

“The three selected operators will sign an agreement to occupy public space, each authorising them to deploy a maximum of 5,000 machines in the capital.

“They have been selected on the basis of three criteria: environmental responsibility, user safety, and lastly the management of maintenance and recharging of the vehicles,” said Paris City Council in a press release.

The city is in the process of creating 2,500 dedicated parking spaces for scooters, in an effort to avoid them being left strewn over walkways and cycle paths.

READ ALSO Speed limits and no sharing: These are the new French laws for scooter riders

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Scorching summer was France’s second hottest on record

Three heatwaves since June produced France's second-hottest summer since records began in 1900, the Météo France weather service said on Tuesday, warning that scorching temperatures will be increasingly common as the climate crisis intensifies.

Scorching summer was France's second hottest on record

With 33 days of extreme heat overall, average temperatures for June, July and August were 2.3C above normal for the period of 1991-2020.

It was surpassed only by the 2003 heatwave that caught much of France unprepared for prolonged scorching conditions, leading to nearly 15,000 heat-related deaths, mainly among the elderly.

Data is not yet available for heat-related deaths this summer, but it is likely to be significantly lower than 15,000 thanks to preventative measures taken by local and national authorities. 

Most experts attribute the rising temperatures to the climate crisis, with Météo France noting that over the past eight summers in France, six have been among the 10-hottest ever.

By 2050, “we expect that around half of summer seasons will be at comparable temperatures, if not higher,” even if greenhouse gas emissions are contained, the agency’s research director Samuel Morin said at a press conference.

The heat helped drive a series of wildfires across France this summer, in particular a huge blaze in the southwest that burned for more than a month and blackened 20,000 hectares. 

Unusually, wildfires also broke out even in the normally cooler north of the country, and in total an area five times the size of Paris burned over the summer. 

Adding to the misery was a record drought that required widespread limits on water use, with July the driest month since 1961 – many areas still have water restrictions in place.

MAP: Where in France are there water restrictions and what do they mean?

Forecasters have also warned that autumn storms around the Mediterranean – a regular event as air temperatures cool – will be unusually intense this year because of the very high summer temperatures. A storm that hit the island of Corsica in mid August claimed six lives. 

“The summer we’ve just been through is a powerful call to order,” Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said on Monday, laying out her priorities for an “ecological planning” programme to guide France’s efforts against climate change.