"For or against self-service scooters?". Parisians registered on the electoral lists on March 10, 2022, or 1,382,322 French citizens or nationals of the European Union, are called to answer this question during a "citizen vote" called by PS Mayor Anne Hidalgo.

Voting is open until 19:00, with the results expected to be announced at 22:00.

Each borough has one polling place, except the sixteenth which has two.

The 21 sites, mostly district town halls with the exception of two gymnasiums (sixteenth and nineteenth) and a school (sixteenth), include 203 polling stations, managed by 1,270 agents.

Electronic voting and proxy voting are not possible, much to the chagrin of scooter operators who hoped to mobilize their young clientele by this means.

This consultation, a first of its kind in the capital, will "engage" the socialist mayor who must decide whether or not to renew the contract with the three private operators (Lime, Tier and Dott).

These conventions, which each authorize to deploy 5,000 scooters in the capital, expired at the end of March.

Technological improvements, a campaign on social networks and free race on voting day: the three operators have tried everything to avoid their eviction, which would send a negative signal to medium-sized cities hesitating to authorize this service, while other large cities such as Barcelona or Montreal are still blocking their installation.

Electric scooters are accused by their detractors of being abandoned anywhere in the public space, of brushing pedestrians on the sidewalks at full speed, or of not being so environmentally friendly because of a supposed poor carbon footprint.

However, the pandemic and transport strikes, combined with restrictions on car traffic in the French capital, have encouraged their multiplication.

To reassure the town hall, operators have already deployed many measures, registering their scooters to better collaborate with the police, accentuating the age controls of users, and strengthening patrols against improperly parked machines.

© 2023 AFP