“Over 2,000 tickets have been issued”: Measures being taken to limit e-scooters in Prague 1

When walking through the heart of Prague today, one might notice electric scooters that often litter the grounds of the city’s historic centre. Bolt and Lime scooters are used in many cities across Europe, although Paris has just recently banned them. On Czech soil, the Prague 1 municipality has been taking steps to limit the use of these scooters in the historic centre. To learn more about the measures being taken, I spoke with the district’s head spokesperson Karolína Šnejdarová:

“Our district is taking action mainly because of the poor parking of these shared scooters. However, since September 1st, 2023, there has been a change in zone parking, meaning that parking wherever you can is no longer allowed in Prague 1. Spot parking has been introduced meaning defined parking spaces have been set. This has improved the situation, but there are still some people – mainly tourists, who do not mind the 500 crown fine for each incorrectly parked vehicle.

Photo: Lenka Žižková,  Radio Prague International

“They put the vehicles wherever they physically can, especially at night. The historic centre of Prague is one of the few protected by UNESCO, and this is also why we try to preserve the original character of our entrusted area. Cobblestones in this area also make scootering unpleasant and difficult but riders still often drive very fast causing traffic problems and endangering pedestrians, children, and the handicapped. The municipality appealed to the operators of the shared scooters and they placed a notice on the handlebars of the scooters warning people not to ride on the pavement, but some people still do not comply.”

When you say limit the use of scooters this includes fines, and the new parking rules, but do these limiting actions look like anything else?

Photo: Lenka Žižková,  Radio Prague International

“Prohibiting driving on sidewalks is the business of municipal police who have issued 2,074 tickets since the beginning of the year up until the end of September. It is the prerogative of the municipal police, and the municipality cannot do anything about this. However, the municipal district has asked the capital city of Prague to prohibit the offering of scooter rentals on the territory of the capital city of Prague, which is the vast majority of roads and area of Prague 1. That is why it must be decided by the city council, and it is why the municipal district decided at its council meeting by a vote of 26-1, to ask the capital city to prevent the offering of shared scooters in the conservation area here in Prague.”

Are these actions in cooperation with any other groups, like the local police here in Prague, or is this mainly a mission of the Prague 1 municipality?

Photo: City of Prague Gallery

“With the city police yes, and with the state police no. The municipal police enforce the law in the area of the historic centre of Prague. A Prague wide contract between the bike and scooter providers is being prepared by the technical administration of communications. Each municipal district will define parking spaces that will be rented to the operators thanks to the contract. If one of these companies does not comply with the rules set in the contract, it will be prohibited from offering its services in these parking spaces, and will have no choice but to leave Prague.”