The Prague 2 Town Hall is filing a complaint against electric scooter operator Lime, on suspicion of the crime of creating a general menace due to violations of scooter operation conditions. The district wants the Prague City Council to cancel the scooter memorandum. The Prague 1 district also wants scooters to be better regulated.
Lime rejects the criticism and claims it does not break any rules.
The dispute between Prague 2 and the operator has gone on for several months, and the district has banned scooter operation on its territory. The Town Hall says that people on scooters ride along the sidewalk and the scooters are left behind at inappropriate places.
Prague 2 claims that three-quarters of district residents oppose the scooters.
Based on an agreement with the city, Lime divided the territory of Prague into green and red zones. The scooters are not allowed in red zones and remotely blocked from operating there.
The Prague 2 district has asked Lime to provide documents certifying compliance with technical requirements and conditions of operation, and statements to the police.
“Lime did not submit any of the required documents. Instead, it arbitrarily restricted the red zone in Prague 2 only to náměstí Míru and its immediate surroundings, Folimanka Park, Vyšehrad Park, Havlíčkovy sady and [rail station] Hlavní nádraží. It is therefore clear that it will continue to operate the shared scooter service with the ‘borrow and drop’ system, without respecting the requirements of the district,” Prague 2 Deputy Mayor Jan Korseska (ODS) said, according to press reports.
Last year, the Municipal Police punished 194 cyclists and scooters in Prague 2. From the beginning of this year to September 15, some 1,048 offenses were committed, according to the Town Hall’s figures. Riding on the sidewalk was gone up significantly. “This is an enormous increase, and the numbers clearly confirm what our city district has been saying since the beginning: that e-scooters do not belong in the city,” Korseska said.
Emergency calls regarding scooter accidents have also increased.
Prague 2 has also asked the capital to terminate the memorandum on the development of shared bike services, concluded between the capital and Lime. However, the repeal of the memorandum would also affect providers of shared bikes.
Lime Operations Manager Ondřej Široký claims the company meets the agreed requirements in the memorandum. “Therefore, the service is limited in Prague 2. We believe we are right with how the scooter operation in Prague 2 is now set up. Paradoxically, we are in agreement with Prague 2 in welcoming the clarification of this situation,” Široký said.
Prague 1 is also complaining about the scooters. Prague 1 Mayor Pavel Čižinský (Praha 1 sobě), wants City Hall to consider the parked scooters a service for business purposes, so they can be partially regulated.
Lime scooters arrived in Prague in September 2018, and quickly became controversial. Lime has been trying to cooperate with the city to avoid the fate of Segways, which were banned from large areas of Prague at the end of 2016.
The city sees shared vehicles as a way to reduce pollution. There are also several shared bicycle, electric bicycle and electric car services operating in the city.