Since the number of electric scooters and rental bicycles on the streets of Berlin started exploding a few years ago, the city’s sidewalks have been a mess. People keep on tripping over those vehicles because they are being thrown all over the place. A new law forces the rental companies to clean up.
Berlin, September 2nd, 2022 (The Berlin Spectator) — All Berliners know the problem, and so do visitors: You want to go to the bakery, the train station or the beauty contest. On the way, you almost fall over those electric scooters or rental bikes on the pavement. These things are spreading like crazy. So are the probelems they cause. In Berlin’s city center, they are absolutely everywhere.
In many cases, people who rent them do not adhere to the rules. Not only do they ride those scooters on the pavement, not only do two or even three persons ride on one scooter, not only do they use them under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or both, all of which is forbidden, but they also do not park them appropriately. The chaos the latter aspect causes is supposed to end now.
The Berlin Senate approved a new law. It forces the rental companies to pay for the space they use for their electric scooters, motor scooters or bicycles, by square meter. For cargo bikes, they will be charged 50 Euro Cent per square meter and month. The fee for regular bikes is 3 Euro, that for motor scooters is 4 Euro. Outside the ‘S-Bahn’ city train ring, there are no fees.
With its law, the Senate wantgs to kill two birds with one stone. Cleaning up is one motivation. The other is offering those rental vehicles in Berlin’s outskirts as well. As of right now, the companies that rent out those scooters and bikes need a special permission to use certain areas on sidewalks, and they have to pay.
Another goal is to have Jelbi Stations at train station. Jelbi as an app offered by Berlin’s main public transport provider BVG. It gives people the option of purchasing tickets and renting electric (or similar) vehicles for the way from the station to their destination. Electric scooters and bikes by multiple rental companies are supposed to be offered there, in an orderly fashion.
From now on, the rental companies are supposed to force their customers to park those vehicles properly. They can charge them or use technical means to make them comply. Other cities have already resolved some issues. In Munich, electric scooters cannot be parked or left at the Englischer Garten park, to avoid a mess there. Customers who try will fail, meaning they will have to pay rental fees until they park the scooter at a legal spot. This is one way of doing it.
Berlin’s car sharing vehicles are supposed to be dealt with as well. The Berlin Senate wants to electrify them. For that reason, parking fees for electric cars were just slashed in half. In order to make sure residents in the German capital’s outskirts have the same options as people living in the center, parking fees for all areas outside the ‘S-Bahn’ ring will be decreased or dumped. The Senate is now entering a legal battle in order to be able to reach its goals in regard to rental cars.