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Rome clamps down on electric scooter chaos with new rules

Capital to cut number of scooters on streets in major overhaul.

Rome's city administration has published the tenders for the selection of three electric scooter companies which will begin operating in the capital under new stricter terms from 1 January 2023.

The city will cut the number of scooter sharing companies from the current seven down to three, with each company entitled to operate a minimum of 2,500 vehicles and a maximum of 3,000.

This will mean the number of scooters on the city's streets will drop from the current 14,500 to about 9,000. The city centre would have a maximum of 3,000 scooters, with the rest spread out among other areas of the capital.

Under the three-year concession, each scooter must be equipped with a steel registration plate and the addition of a QR code for electronic identification, with all users required to register using an identity card.

The top speed limit will be 20 km per hour, down to six km per hour in pedestrian areas, and the scooters can only be rented by users aged 18 or over.

Municipal transport authorities will monitor the location of the vehicles, with penalties for scooter rental companies in the event that the new terms are violated. The city will also designate no-parking areas.

Mayor Roberto Gualiteri said the move, part of a major overhaul of the sector, will bring order to a chaotic situation, and that the new rules will be "attentive to the needs of citizens and urban decorum". 

In 2020 cities across Italy welcomed large fleets of app-based electric scooters, with many urban commuters embracing the vehicles to avoid public transport due to covid-19 concerns.

Since then the scooters have faced much criticism, particularly in Rome, over the way they are abandoned on streets as well as the danger they pose to motorists, pedestrians and scooter users themselves.

For more details about the tenders and new terms for electric scooter in Rome see the city's mobility website.

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Marymount - International School Rome
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