Brussels restriction on shared e-scooters suspended

The Council of State is blowing the Brussels government the whistle over its decision to limit the number of shared e-scooters, according to newspapers La Libre Belgique and La Dernière Heure.

Brussels Mobility Minister Elke Van den Brandt (Groen) reacted with disappointment but was delighted that the Council did uphold the drop zones and fines for wrong-way parking.

In December, the Brussels Region selected Bolt and local market leader Dott as the only two operators with a license for shared e-scooters. There would also only be a maximum of 8,000 shared e-scooters allowed to be deployed, instead of 20,000 before.

The Swedish Voi and Lime, via parent company Uber, who, along with Tier, Pony, and Poppy, had also filed a case, dropped out and went to the judge in summary proceedings. That ruled in January that they could continue their operations until their license expired.

After a complaint from another operator, Gliize, the Council of State suspended the Brussels government’s decision. In other words, the rejected operators can, if they still have a permit, redeploy and put into service the number of scooters they wish to deploy.

‘Legal guerilla’

Brussels Mobility Minister Elke Van den Brandt (Groen) is disappointed by what she calls “the legal guerrilla of the operators” who had, would you believe, “asked for and agreed to this reform themselves after extensive consultation”.

“We needed an essential reform of the e-scooter industry to provide pedestrians, especially people with reduced mobility, with a serene public space,” the Minister says.

However, Van den Brandt expressed satisfaction that the Council of State validated the legality of dropzone parking and the parking fines system. “Since 1 January, we have seen a real improvement – even if it is not yet perfect – in respecting the pavements,” she says. “The State Council has now also introduced a penalty system that allows us to exclude an operator who does not comply with these rules.”


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