by Matthew Niblett on 27 Jun 2019
This week's top three: Paris crackdown on e-scooters continues; moves to legalise ride hailing and e-scooters in Romania; and Uber launches a petition to reverse new rules in Austria.
Police have reportedly issued over 1,000 tickets and impounded 600 scooters ahead of new measures against the improper use of scooters that are due to come into force on 1 July. Users will face €35 fines for poor parking and €135 penalties for riding on pavements. Operators will face fines of €50 for the first 499 scooters that are found causing obstruction, rising to €65 for those operating over 3,000 scooters. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has described the scooters as “anarchic”, while Transport Minister Elisabeth Borne told Le Parisien the city was experiencing “the law of the jungle”.
The Romanian Government passed an emergency ordinance legalising ride hailing in the country. Drivers are required to obtain a special permit from authorities for “alternative transport services” whilst ride hailing companies must pay an annual authorisation fee of €10,500 to the Ministry of Communication. The new law follows a dispute between ride hailing companies and the Government, after the latter introduced a law that would allow on-the-spot fines for drivers found operating transport services without a taxi licence. Separately, an opposition MP has introduced a draft bill on e-scooters to the Chamber of Deputies. The bill defines electric scooters as two or three wheeled vehicles with electric motors that do not exceed a maximum speed of 40kmph and states that they may be ridden in cycle lanes by anyone above the age of 14. There are currently three e-scooter companies operating in Bucharest, Romania’s capital, but it is not clear whether the vehicles are currently legal.
Uber has launched an online petition to protest against recently-announced changes to the law in Austria, which would impose the same conditions on ride hailing drivers which exist for taxi drivers. The petition has received 22,000 signatures to date, and has been endorsed by some members of the New Austria and Liberal Forum, a liberal party in Austria. Some members of the party are reportedly considering lodging a constitutional complaint against the new law, which is expected to be debated in plenary in the Austrian Parliament at the beginning of July.
This is a weekly note covering the top three developments in the regulation of on-demand transport in Europe. It covers taxis, ride-sharing, car sharing, carpooling, bikes, e-bikes, scooters, shared mopeds and anything else that's relevant to the sector.
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Matthew provides monitoring and analysis to clients in mobility, short-term accommodation and the wider sharing economy. He writes a weekly Sector News Summary covering shared and on-demand mobility for some of the leading players in the sector.
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