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Electric Scooters And Bikes Banned From Public Transport

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The Spanish Government has “temporarily” suspended electric scooters and bikes from being carried on public transport

Beginning on December 1, the General Directorate of Mobility on behalf of the Spanish Government has decided to “temporarily” ban electric scooters, bicycles, and other electric personal mobility vehicles from using the public transportation systems. The measure has an impact on intercity bus, metro, and train services. Below, courtesy of Catalan news:

The incident that prompted the ban in the first place happened on November 2022 near the Sant Boi del Llobregat station of the FGC train line. CCTV footage shows passengers hurriedly moving away from the fire, before the carriage filled with smoke- three people were left injured. 

Mobilitat cites “security reasons” to block the use of electric personal mobility on public transportation. This veto is valid for the next six months at the very least, but it may become final after that. Palma City Council recently established a measure for EMT buses, which the Government enforced like other European cities like Barcelona, Madrid, or Paris in response to the danger of a battery explosion on a train or railway.

The Government is thus referring to the high risk of fires due to explosions of batteries of this type of vehicles that occurred in the Madrid metro last October and in Ferrocarrils de Catalunya in November. The boards of directors of the Consorci de Transports de Mallorca and Serveis Ferroviaris de Mallorca have agreed to the temporary veto of these vehicles from December 1, 2023 to June 1, 2024 .

“During this period, the convenience or not of extending the measure or establishing a new regulation will be evaluated,” Mobilitat reports.

In addition, the General Directorate of Traffic (DGT) has recently published a manual of technical characteristics for personal mobility vehicles (VMP) such as electric scooters, which establishes mandatory equipment for these vehicles to legally circulate on the road, including braking systems, lights, and reflectors. From January 2024, all brands and models of VMPs must be certified according to this new standard. Non-certified VMPs may continue to circulate until January 2027 

Electric scooters have faced bans and restrictions in many cities around the world. Here are some examples:

  • Singapore: E-scooters are prohibited on sidewalks and could face an all-out ban next year.
  • France: A sidewalk scooter ban was enforced in September 2019, three months after a rider was hit by a truck and killed.
  • UK: Scooters are banned from all public roads, sidewalks, and cycle lanes.
  • Beverly Hills, California, USA: Beverly Hills instituted a ban on electric scooters, citing concerns about public safety and the lack of proper regulation.
  • New York City, New York, USA: New York City has long banned electric scooters, and anyone caught riding one can be fined.

In addition, some cities have banned e-scooter rentals, such as Paris, which recently banned e-scooter rentals due to safety concerns. However, it is important to note that regulations regarding electric scooters and bikes vary widely across different countries and cities, and the information provided here may not be exhaustive.

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