Scooter referendum: Lime’s amazing way to get its users to vote
A month before the citizen vote which must determine the future of self-service scooter fleets in Paris, Lime surprised by promising free mobility minutes in exchange for proof of registration on the electoral lists. A surprising method of communication, which questions its legality. And yet.
A not-so-new email campaign
On February 27, several Lime users (including the author of this article) were surprised to receive an email from the company. Once the fear that it was a phishing attempt passed, users could see that it was indeed a communication from Lime, promising “10 minute ride” free in exchange for proof of registration on the electoral lists.
Before the vote which will take place on April 2 to determine whether or not self-service scooters should be maintained in Paris, Lime is sending emails to its customers promising them free “rides” in exchange for proof of registration on electoral list 🙄 pic.twitter.com/3CKkKWPXJo
— Romain Challand (@ChallandRomain) February 28, 2023
“Registering on the electoral lists always seems restrictive but in truth, it’s quite easy. If you haven’t already done so, go here”writes Lime. For the others — and you who are going to do it right away — share with us the proof of your registration and benefit from 10 minutes of free riding”. The user is invited to click on a link which refers to a simple questionnaire, where the latter can send a screenshot or a PDF attesting to the registration or the electoral situation.
In fact, this promise of “wrinkled” is part of an e-mail campaign launched by the company. Lime’s first communication on the subject of the citizen vote dates back to February 9, with a summary of the events and issues.
A practice that is not illegal
On Twitter, David Belliard, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of mobility, was quick to react: “Campaigning for the maintenance of scooters in Paris is the game. And on April 2, all Parisians will be able to express themselves at the ballot box. But offering to buy voters is frankly not pretty , attractive !”
Campaigning to keep scooters in Paris is the game 💁🏽 ♀️ And on April 2, all Parisians will be able to express themselves at the ballot box. But proposing to buy voters is frankly not pretty, pretty @lime_en ! https://t.co/55LXNqm67w
— David Belliard (@David_Belliard) February 28, 2023
Despite questions from Internet users, Lime’s method is legal. Indeed, article L106 of the Electoral Code regulates and punishes the purchase of votes, but the framework is slightly different here, greater freedom of action being left within the framework of this type of citizen vote. Something confirmed by Lime and its lawyers when justifying the operation.
The town hall of Paris and the operators at loggerheads
While the fate of the self-service scooter fleets in Paris will be decided after this citizen vote on April 2, relations between the operators and the municipality have clearly deteriorated. Parisian elected officials have made known their hostility to the maintenance of these soft mobility on several occasions. For their part, the operators accuse the City of distorting the result of this vote by not meeting the conditions necessary for its smooth running (no electronic voting, day of the Paris marathon, few polling stations, etc.).
The operators also criticize the town hall for its lack of haste in publishing a report on “the uses and users of micromobility in Paris”which she had commissioned in May 2022. A study which demystified, for example, the recurrence of accidents involving these scooters, which were ultimately half as affected as Vélib’.