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Micromobility in limbo: Takeaways from Paris and LA


Shared electric scooters came onto the scene five years ago with a promising vision of getting people out of cars and onto greener modes of transportation. Yet despite billions in VC money and plenty of hype, the future that micromobility companies promised still hasn’t quite arrived.
In cities like Paris, most people aren’t replacing car trips with shared e-scooter jaunts in a meaningful way; the cost of riding scooters makes them an expensive option for last-mile transit connections and equitable access; and the public disclosures of Bird and Helbiz have shown us that achieving profitability is incredibly difficult. Plus, cities that allowed shared e-scooter companies in their midsts are increasingly making it difficult for scooter companies to operate sustainably.
For the sake of traffic flow and carbon emissions, there need to be alternatives to cars. Are shared e-scooters the answer to that, or are they just another shitty option? What have we gained by introducing shared micromobility to cities?
We decided to take a look at two cities that were at the forefront of the e-scooter revolution – Los Angeles and Paris. The former has garnered a reputation of being a bit of a free-for-all, with a laissez-faire capitalist regulatory approach that …

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