Lisbon punishes electric scooters left on sidewalk

People walks past electric scooters parked on the sidewalk against a shop window in Lisbon’s 18th-century downtown business district Monday, July 1, 2019. Authorities in Lisbon’s old town are cracking down on what locals increasingly describe as the scourge of electric scooters abandoned on sidewalks. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Authorities in Lisbon’s old town are cracking down on what locals increasingly describe as a scourge — shared electric scooters abandoned on sidewalks.

The parish council which oversees the neighborhoods around the medieval St. George’s castle and the 18th-century downtown business district introduced fines of up to 300 euros ($340) Monday for companies whose rented scooters litter sidewalks and other public spaces in the Portuguese capital.

The companies also have to cover the cost of the scooters’ removal by officials.

Other European cities are also considering ways of balancing the needs of pedestrians and scooter riders.

Over the past year, nine companies have flooded Lisbon with thousands of electric scooters, part of the so-called micro-mobility revolution whereby consumers share rented scooters for short city trips.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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