Fury as motorcycle parking charges in Paris surge from free to €37.50 a day

Owners of motorcycles and scooters in Paris will now be required to pay for parking with tariffs of €37.50 per day being introduced from 1 September

Scooters in Paris

Motorcycle and scooter owners will now be required to pay for parking in the streets of Paris, with controversial new charges of up to €37.50 a day being introduced in the French capital city today.

From 1 September, parking a motorcycle or scooter in Paris - once free - will now cost €3 per hour in central Paris and €2 in outer areas of the city,  while residents can pay €22.50 for an annual permit that enables them a reduced tariff of €0.75 a day.

The move has been introduced in response to ‘climate and public health issues’, with electric motorcycles and scooters, plus some low emissions models, exempt from the charges.

A mode of transportation once advocated towards car drivers as the greener, more convenient option, the incentive of free motorcycle parking within cities with limited space has long been in place in Paris.

However, with the automotive industry shifting away from fossil fuels towards an electric-powered future, now even petrol motorcycles and scooters are considered within the sphere of being damaging for the environment.

As such, the fees will go towards ensuring Paris is carbon neutral by 2050, with the general phasing out of fossil fuelled vehicles to accelerate in the coming decade.

The hefty charges - which amount to €37.50 for six hours in zone one - has not gone down well with Parisians, who feel the fees are simply a tax masquerading under a ‘green mask’.

David Belliard, Paris' assistant mayor, maintains the measures are to encourage commuters to switch to zero emissions transport.

"It's a controversial measure, a lot of people are not happy," he said. "But there are also a lot of people who are waiting for this measure. We are in an exemption regime for machines that take up space in space public, which make noise, and which pollute.

"The vast majority of people who come to work today do so by public transport. It is estimated that 100,000 scooters and motorcycles pass through Paris. 

"We want to encourage migration to other forms of mobility."

However, with some commuters now facing parking fees of €500 or more, motorcyclists are angry at being made to choose between paying daily parking charges or invest in a much more expensive electric motorcycle.

"I bought my new motorcycle for €8,000, a new electric one is €20,000," one resident told Euro News.  

"It's half the price of parking a car and we put four motorcycles in a parking space. That's theft!"