Since March 16, Madrid lives without shared-use electric scooters on its streets. The City Council of the Capital required all companies operating in the city to withdraw the service, temporarily revoking their licenses. At the heart of the decision: health issues due to the coronavirus health crisis.

For electric scooter companies it was a hack to their accounts, but the empty streets due to the forced confinement did not bode well as far as their activity is concerned.

Everything seemed to point to the entry of the capital in Phase 0, and the return of Movo in the motorcycle sector, would mean the return of the scooterss. A slight revival of mobility in the city and streets without traffic would be sufficient to activate its use. Especially having the previous experience of BiciMad that, in just one week, tripled its use. The difference between scooters and shared motorcycles is that the former do need authorization to operate. The rest of mobility services do not.

The truth is that permits were still stuck in the City Hall without an expected date. “We don’t hear from them,” some electric scooter companies explained to Hipertextual. The City Council did not give much more information about it either: until a few days ago there was no closed plan for the group. The tasks of the Mobility area were beginning to accumulate and the permits revoked in March were still pending sine die.

Now, the City Council has spoken to reactivate the service. Of course, with conditions. There is no scheduled date for the official return of electric scooters to Madrid, but it has already been announced that the authorization that allows it will be approved this week.

Electric scooters, affidavits and cleaning protocols

No scooter may be used without gloves. Different companies must require users to use them before activating the vehicle. In addition, they will be obliged to report on hygiene protocols and safety distances. Failure to comply with this rule will be subject to sanction, although it is not entirely clear if this would correspond solely to the user or would also extend to the company that owns the scooter. Hipertextual has contacted the City Council, but had no response at the time of publication of this article.

Within the conditions imposed, the Madrid City Council includes the obligation of the owner companies to disinfect all vehicles. At least once a day and with virucidal substances approved by the Ministry of Health.

This task will be carried out by the direct owner of the scooters, who must submit a responsible statement to confirm that it complies with the provisions. Without said document, the City Council will not return the operating licenses. This text will inform about the reactivation date, disinfection strips and protocols.

In addition, all cleaning tasks must be done in private facilities and not in public areas. Which means that for cleaning, all scooters will have to be removeds. Only if the sanitation tasks occur several times a day will the use of public roads be allowed. For this, the company must prove such activity.

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