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Paris Scooter Speeds Reduced to Address Accidents

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Paris, France

Share scooters in Paris are being restricted to 10 km/h for all but a few streets, in response to a large number of pedestrian injuries involving electric scooters.

Paris has been an important market for scooter sharing companies and the three that received permits to operate in the city have done extremely well in their global expansions.

This year alone, Dott raised US$85 million (A$120 million) in a mix of equity and asset-backed debt financing, Tier recently raised US$200 million (A$281 million) in debt and equity, and Lime closed a US$523 million (A$735 million) raise in convertible debt and term loan financing.

The city’s density, network of cycle paths and high number of tourists make it a focal point for scooter share operators and at one stage there were 16 companies vying to operate scooter fleets in Paris.

The City of Paris has advised Dott, Tier and Lime to reduce the general speed limit from 20 km/h to 10 km/h from mid-December, for all roads except a couple of streets that have wide lanes for bikes, scooters and other micromobility vehicles.

According to a recent Agence France-Presse report, scooters have been involved in 298 accidents during 2021, resulting in two deaths and injuries to 329 people.

A hit and run incident in June involving two female scooter riders and a 32-year-old Italian pedestrian, who died in hospital two days later from her injuries, is being reported as a turning point in the relationship between the City of Paris and scooter operators.

On July 1, the City listed a dozen locations with high-density pedestrian traffic and the operators agreed to limit the maximum speed to 10 km/h in these areas using real-time geolocation.

In September, the City asked administrators for each of the districts to identify other locations that should have 10 km/h speed limits and the result was a patchwork of 700 slow zones – also implemented by the operators.

In comparison to the 10km/h speed limit now in place for almost the whole city, health websites estimate the average “comfortable” walking pace for healthy adults is 5.5km/h.

The limit does not apply to private scooter owners.

In some good news for Dott, Lime and Tier, their tenders have been extended by six months to February 2023.

Regulating mopeds

The City of Paris is also going to regulate free-floating electric mopeds by introducing five-year permits.

Five companies are currently operating in Paris — Cityscoot, Cooltra, Lime, Yego and Troopy – and others are working on a launch in the city.

The City has indicated the new system will start on 1st September 2022, and only two or three companies will be able to operate fleets.

A longer version of this article previously appeared on the TechCrunch website.

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