France|July 2020

Robin Gauldie rents an e-scooter and discovers an entertaining, economical and environmentally friendly way to explore France’s cities
Robin Gauldie

This is fun! That’s what I’m thinking as I scoot beneath the vast mirrored ceiling of L’Ombrière de Norman Foster in Marseille, past the row of seafood stalls on the Quai de la Fraternité and down the Quai du Vieux Port, overtaking a petit train packed with sightseers. Unlike them, I can choose my route and go as I please.

This is the first time I’ve rented an e-scooter, but I’m sold on the idea already. And I’m not alone in that. The trottinette électrique is green, clean, cheap, and fun for riders of all ages, from youngsters to grandads.

While the UK has yet to approve e-scooters on public roads and bike trails, France has jumped on the ‘micro-mobility’ trend in a big way.

Keeping it simple

According to e-scooter rental company Lime, which introduced its service to Paris in June 2018, 11% of Parisians use e-scooters often and one out of every 100 journeys in the capital uses one of Lime’s scooters – that’s equivalent to 50,000 riders every day.

Renters like the convenience of being able to pick up and drop off their ride wherever they like (there’s no need to return it to a base or dock) and Lime claims a scooter ride shaves an average of 10 minutes off the average trip.


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July 2020