‘We don’t see a desire to solve the problem: Kazan authorities don’t let e-scooters to spring up

‘We don’t see a desire to solve the problem: Kazan authorities don’t let e-scooters to spring up
Photo: realnoevremya.ru/Maxim Platonov (archive)

Few days left before the season of e-scooters in Kazan — the weather is great, there is almost no snow left. E-scooter services want to expand claiming that the city itself and its citizens need it, but as it turned out, authorities have their own opinion on this. Read more in Realnoe Vremya’s report.

Kazan authorities offer Whoosh 10 times less than needed

Realnoe Vremya was told by Whoosh that they were fully ready for the start of the season in Kazan, but there was hitch — they couldn’t obtain a permit from the city administration. The e-scooter service doesn’t see the authorities have a desire to solve the problem, though as early as December 2022 they created a taskforce to make a plan and update operation rules in the capital of Tatarstan.

“We are fully ready for the start of the season but we cannot obtain a permit from the Executive Committee. Neither do we see a desire to solve the problem. We are offered to work at 200 parking areas, moreover, we need as few as 2,000 for the transport model. 200 areas are only for fun, scooters are needed to drive in the city centre. Kazan doesn’t need it, this won’t bring benefit to the citizens of the city,” Press Secretary of Whoosh Denis Balakirev told Realnoe Vremya.

Before the authorities, the e-scooter service that wanted to increase the number of e-scooters in Kazan by 40%, to 2.800, expressed its stance — issues were discussed in the taskforce. Whoosh thinks that “the scale of e-scooter operation was last year wasn’t enough for such a big and advanced city as Kazan, while legal support for the activity fell behind the reality.”

However, they didn’t manage to succeed despite the discussion of issues. A legal statement on e-scooter placement regulation in cities issued by the Institute of Legislation and Comparative Legal Studies in the Russian Government didn’t influence the authorities either. It reads that the action of the decree No. 1,300 of the Cabinet of Ministers and Law on Trade doesn’t apply to individual transport. The authorities of Kazan demand e-scooter operators to equip e-scooter park areas in accordance with the given regulations.

“We simply don’t know what we should do. Instead of a fruitful dialogue we got a total return to last year’s conditions and the unwillingness to solve the problem,” admitted Denis Balakirev.

Photo: realnoevremya.ru/Maxim Platonov (archive)

The 2,000 park areas Whoosh talks about are just the necessary minimum. Ideally, as Denis Balakired told Realnoe Vremya, about 2,500 park areas are needed for the full-scale operation of Kazan’s transport model.

Realnoe Vremya sent a request to Kazan’s city administration to learn the authorities’ position on the work of e-scooter services. A reply hadn’t been received when the article was published.

Season opening in April

Meanwhile, Urent is preparing to open the season of e-scooters in Kazan. Its e-scooters are due to appear in city streets in early April.

Urent didn’t say it had some difficulties when agreeing with the authorities on their operation. This year, the service is going to launch over 2,500 new e-scooters in the streets of the Tatarstan capital — it is 400 more than two years ago.

Last year, the e-scooter rent reason opened on 23 April. Moreover, Urent had said earlier it would start working on 10 April. Speed limit zones to 10-15 km/h in crowded places were announced in 2022 according to a requirement of the Kazan Executive Committee. The total number of such zones was 73.

Tatiana Dyomina
Analytics Tatarstan
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