Paris: why is the vote against scooters so questionable?

The trottis in Paris, it's almost over! On Sunday, in a local referendum, 89

Paris: why is the vote against scooters so questionable?

The trottis in Paris, it's almost over! On Sunday, in a local referendum, 89.03% of Parisian voters voted against self-service scooters in the capital. The three Parisian operators (Dott, Lime and Tier Mobility), whose contract will not be renewed on September 1, will therefore have to clear the floor in five months.

Arriving like a tsunami in 2018, free-floating scooters invaded the capital's pavements and sidewalks, posing serious safety concerns and frustrating some residents. But although their rejection is a consensus at the polls, the result of this local referendum raises several questions.

The level of participation is particularly decried. Of the 1,382,322 Parisians registered on the electoral lists, only 103,084 made the trip, bringing the participation rate to only 7.46%. The opposition group Changer Paris (center right), on Twitter, believes that "Parisians have shown their deep disinterest in the vote on self-service scooters organized by Anne Hidalgo!" ". By way of comparison, the municipal elections in Paris in 2020, in the midst of a health crisis, had mobilized 36.7% of voters in the second round. A shame at a time when the French are demanding more democracy...

This very weak mobilization also taints the "legitimacy" of the ballot in the eyes of those in favor of maintaining scooters. The operators Dott, Lime and Tier Mobility had demanded, without success, the holding of an electronic vote to encourage young people, their first clientele, to vote. However, according to the journalists present in the polling stations on Sunday, this "face-to-face" referendum mainly mobilized an elderly population, very few users of these services. What to give grist to the mill of the destroyers of the gerontocracy, namely the government by the old men. In Will The Generation War Happen? (les Belles Lettres/Manitoba, 2022), Frédéric Monlouis-Félicité proposed to weight the vote according to age. A radical idea, but which could return to public debate.

The result of the vote finally appears to contradict the policy pursued by Anne Hidalgo since her election in 2014. The mayor of Paris has reduced the place allocated to the car and encouraged the development of soft mobility. However, by summoning Parisians to the polls on a question that she knew had been decided, the socialist is depriving herself of an alternative to combustion engine vehicles, at a time when Paris, precisely, is accelerating its mobility revolution.

So, of course, scooter enthusiasts should switch to walking or cycling, as a study (2020) by L’Atelier parisien d’urbanisme (Apur) suggests. However, Anne Hidalgo's opponents believe that it was possible to maintain a self-service scooter service in France's largest city. "The vote on scooters is the admission of failure of a mayor of Paris who failed to regulate their use when the state gave him the tools", tackled Stéphane Séjourné, the secretary general of Renaissance. Isn't depriving yourself of this means of transport in 2023 insulting the future a little too quickly?