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Berlin wants to push ride-sharing's coverage outside the city centre

Berlin wants to favour e-cars over scooters in new ride-sharing regulations

Berlin wants to favour e-cars over scooters in new ride-sharing regulations

Senator for the Environment, Bettina Jarasch, explained the goals for the sector: free sidewalks, more electric vehicles and bringing services out of Berlin’s centre

Berlin is trying to redesign its ride-sharing economy and introduce different incentives, thereby cultivating specific types of services. The main goal of a recently proposed plan is to get scooters off sidewalks and set local priorities toward electric cars.

The new traffic regulations for ride-sharing services will come into force on 1 September and, apart from trying to reign in e-scooters, officials want to work on pushing service providers to expand away from the city centre and the U-Bahn ring.

This specific part of the proposed amendments is an answer to the main criticism levied against the city’s plan for a car-free zone inside the U-Bahn ring, also known as central Berlin. That criticism against the proposition focused on the fact that it would just push the car problem to the city’s neighbourhoods.

Incentivising electric cars in ride-sharing services

Many German cities are now trying to regulate e-scooters in a variety of ways, from parking restrictions to trying to ban drunk driving. Berlin, in particular, wants to focus on clearing sidewalks and stopping them from becoming e-scooter parking spaces. Parking on sidewalks seems to be a persistent issue with e-scooters, as according to different cities, this prevents pedestrians with disabilities from navigating the urban environment.

The current measures that the German capital plans to implement include creating segregated parking spaces for e-scooters and rental bikes, which would regulate where you can rent and leave the device after your ride is done. Furthermore, they have proposed that scooter-sharing operators institute a photo-receipt system or more precise location tracking.

When it comes to car-sharing services, the city is prepared to wave half of the cost of parking fees for the so-called free-floater companies – providers that do not offer a fixed position for renting the car. This, however, would only apply to electric vehicles. For stationary car sharing, the city has said that it could waive parking fees altogether.

At the same time, the administration aims to bring these offers to the outer neighbourhoods in Berlin by a special use permit, while also reducing city fees for servicing the outskirts.

Senator for the Environment Bettina Jarasch was quoted in a statement by the city, explaining: "If people share a vehicle, that's a good way to reduce traffic congestion in the city. Sharing mobile, therefore, plays an important role in the mobility turnaround, but in large cities with limited space, it also needs clear regulations in order to develop its potential in a city-friendly manner. We are proposing clear incentives in order to successively achieve our goals: free sidewalks, more electric vehicles, more sharing even in the outskirts.”

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