Copenhagen to limit number of rental electric scooters

Are they a convenient and cheap way of getting across town or a pestilence on bicycle lanes?

Copenhagen to limit number of rental electric scooters
Rental electric scooters in Copenhagen. Photo: Thomas Sjørup / Ritzau Scanpix

Regardless of your personal view, you may soon see rental electric scooters a little less often in Copenhagen.

In January this year, it became legal to use the two-wheeled light motorised scooters on cycle lanes, and their numbers have since proliferated, with a number of companies operating rental of the scooters via apps.

But Copenhagen Municipality on Thursday implemented new guidelines designed to restrict the number of scooters parked in busy public places.

The guidelines will mean that limits will apply to the number of scooters which can be placed within certain areas.

A maximum of 200 of the lightweight vehicles may now be placed within the historic central part of Copenhagen’s Inner City.

That limit also applies to rental bicycles.

Meanwhile, a total number of 3,000 electric scooters and rental cycles will be permitted in the rest of the city, Copenhagen Municipality confirmed in a press statement.

The guidelines are part of a one-year trial to manage to use of the cycle lanes by the new scooters.

Acting Copenhagen Municipality urban environment councillor Karina Vestergård Madsen of the left-wing Red Green Alliance party welcomed the announcement.

“At the moment, when you move around within Copenhagen, you can see that a lot of e-scooters have come to the Inner City, where space is restricted,” Madsen said.

“It’s important for us as politicians to ensure traffic safety and flow. If we didn’t make rules on how many scooters are permitted in the Inner City, there would soon be many, many more than there are now,” she added.

Operators will be responsible for ensuring their scooters and bicycles are only rented from locations for which they have permission.

The city will contact companies who want to operate in the city in order to provide them with guidance on permit application.

The rules are expected to take effect in around two months, with a status report on the trial to be published in the first quarter of 2020.

READ ALSO: Copenhagen to borrow ideas from Aarhus in bid to tidy poorly-parked scooters

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Copenhagen to ban electric scooters from city centre

The city of Copenhagen wants to ban electric scooter rentals from the city centre, officials said Friday, in what would be one most strict regulations against a symbol of the new ‘sharing economy’.

Copenhagen to ban electric scooters from city centre
Electric scooters in Copenhagen. Photo: Liselotte Sabroe / Ritzau Scanpix

“It will no longer be possible to rent or park an electric scooter in the majority of Copenhagen's most built up areas from January 1st,” the city's environmental and technical services department said in an email to AFP.

In practice, the measure will ban scooters from the historic city centre and adjacent neighbourhoods, where it is already prohibited to park them.

“Unfortunately, we have encountered major problems with these electric scooters… It is extremely difficult for seniors to get around when they are left lying about,” municipal councillor Rune Dybvad said on TV2.

The measure needs to be approved by the municipal council but enjoys widespread support.

Despite being a symbol of the ‘sharing economy’, riders are not always generous or caring of others, zipping between pedestrians and leaving scooters poorly parked, thus prompting a number of cities to adopt strict regulations on their use.

Police in the city last summer stopped 28 people in one weekend for riding the scooters while drunk or stoned.

READ ALSO: Electric scooters are 'seven times' more dangerous than bicycles on Danish roads