Four thousand electric scooters in the city center – this is the limit set by the agreement of the Krakow authorities with the operators of these two-wheelers. Four private companies that have decided to sign a contract with the city will pay for occupying city space and removing incorrectly parked vehicles. In turn, the apps will prevent users from returning the vehicle when the limit is reached. In an interview with tvn24.pl, representatives of the companies emphasize that the prices of their services will not change. There will also be one new player on the market.
Private operators will pay for parking their vehicles, and their number in the center will be strictly regulated It’s about civilizing the electric scooters that are left at random, rented for minutes, especially in the city center.
Introducing solutions to reduce the inconvenience of scooters left in random places, announced in the spring the deputy mayor of Krakow, Andrzej Kulig. – These vehicles often pose a danger to other road users or sidewalks, or even make it impossible to pass or pass – the local government official now emphasizes.
The agreement between officials and private companies, which will come into force in the near future, introduces a limit of four thousand scooters parked simultaneously inside the second ring road of Krakow (limited, among others, by Aleje Trzech Barbers and the Mogilskie, Grzegórzeckie and Mateczny roundabouts). Each of the four companies has a thousand spaces at its disposal, located at 163 mobility points, i.e. parking lots for scooters. Previously, the number of such points was 103. Owners of two-wheelers for rent will now pay for occupying urban space.
Changes for electric scooters in Krakow. When? On what terms?
Four companies – Bolt, Lime, Tier and Traficar – expressed their willingness to sign the contracts.
As Maciej Piotrkowski from the Public Transport Authority in Krakow informs us, the new rules will most likely come into force in August. Each company must pay a deposit of PLN 10,000 – the money from this amount will be charged, among others, for towing improperly parked scooters. The city is developing a system for residents to report such abandoned vehicles.
For users, this means, above all, more restrictive than before rules for returning electric scooters, although in the very center of the city, some operators already did not allow them to be returned anywhere, but only in designated places.
However, the contracts are voluntary, it is impossible to force all private companies offering scooter rental by the minute to comply with the established rules. – Such a company, however, will become a black sheep in the environment. It will be someone who breaks certain rules of social coexistence. It is also about changing the perception of scooters. The operators themselves want their vehicles not to be treated as obstructing the passage of garbage, but as a valuable means of transport. In addition, scooters abandoned outside designated areas are often devastated, Piotrkowski tells us. The ZTP representative points out that the city does not have effective legal tools to fight abandoned scooters.
What if someone rents a scooter and wants to leave it in the center while the limit of vehicles is reached? – The application should not let you leave it in a full point. It already works. In May, operators introduced such self-regulation themselves after more serious incidents related to these vehicles. There were a maximum of 10 scooters at each parking point – explains Marcin Wójcik from the Public Transport Authority, a former Krakow bicycle officer.
Pilot until November
Wójcik stipulates that contracts with operators “will definitely not stop free Americans in the city center one hundred percent”. – Users who the application does not allow to return the vehicle at the mobility point, sometimes agree to pay a penalty and leave such a scooter anywhere, because they are in a hurry – admits the official.
The representative of the ZTP points out that the introduced solution is a pilot project and the contracts will be valid until November. – We give ourselves time to see what works and what does not work, possibly modify contracts and expand the area of activities in the next year – says Wójcik.
Scooter operators about changes
We asked representatives of three companies that expressed their willingness to sign an agreement with the city about what would change for their users. The biggest novelty will be the offer of Traficar – a company associated exclusively with renting cars by the minute.
– Traficar plans to engage in solutions in the field of micromobility and treats them as a transport supplement to its main area of activity – carsharing – informs us Piotr Groński, president of Traficar. However, he points out that the project is in the preparation phase, so he does not want to reveal details yet.
Damian Kupczak, Senior Operations Manager Lime Poland, emphasizes that the scooter rental companies of this company “should not be significantly affected” by the changes introduced by the agreement with the city.
– We are planning to move our vehicles to other places and we are considering expanding the zone. The necessity for us to adapt to the new regulations will also not affect price increases – emphasizes Kupczak. He adds that the agreement “aims to increase order in Krakow, but in such a way as to provide users with easy access to solutions in the field of micromobility.”
The same is to be true of Bolt’s offer. – The agreement with the city will not affect either the number of our scooters or the price for users in Krakow – Michał Kołodyński, a representative of this company, told us.
Main photo source: Public Transport Authority in Krakow