Shared kick scooters cannot block streets and sidewalks, the city has warned. Photo: Mike Zenari
The fleet of new electronic kick scooters unveiled in the capital this week could be “administratively seized” if they are not parked correctly on a persistent basis and the firm operating the service apparently does not have all the required authorisations to operate here, the City of Luxembourg has said.
The company said it has the proper permit and wants to allay the mayor’s concerns.
Bird started service in Luxembourg on Tuesday, operating under a “free floating” system without fixed parking stations. Users find and book the scooters using an app, and customers are then responsible themselves for finding a “responsible place” to leave the vehicles.
On Wednesday, the City of Luxembourg issued a lengthy statement “to make some clarifications” without mentioning Bird by name.
Under police regulations, the city pointed out, it is illegal to clutter up public roadways.
In other words, incorrectly parked scooters would be considered abandoned objects.
The law, the city noted, also permits the mayor to “administratively seize” objects that “present a serious danger”, including to pedestrians and people with reduced mobility, when other measures have proved ineffective.
In addition, the city raised questions about the US-based firm’s local business permits: “It goes without saying that any company wishing to establish itself should have all the necessary authorisations in order to exercise its commercial activity.”
The city issued a reminder (noting it was “concerned about the safety of its citizens”) that electric scooter users must follow the highway code. Kick scooters are permitted in cycle lanes and on roadways, the city stated, but not allowed on pavements and most of time restricted from bus lanes and pedestrian zones.
The City of Luxembourg said it “welcomes initiatives promoting soft mobility in its territory, but it did not appreciate the lack of information from the company regarding the establishment of a self-service scooter system, raising important management and safety issues. So, the city will propose, as soon as possible, a meeting with the company that has just set up in Luxembourg City in order to clarify the points” that it raised.
A Bird spokesman told Delano on Thursday:
“We were excited when we received our business permit in August, and we told the city about our intention to launch before we did so. Bird’s mission is to help improve congestion and air quality in cities by giving people an alternative transport option to the car, and looking at the number of people who have already tried our service in Luxembourg there is clearly a big demand here. We’re very much looking forward to meeting with the mayor and addressing any of her concerns."