The face of Gelsenkirchen must have changed on Saturday. If everything goes as planned by the city administration and confirmed by the administrative court, there will no longer be any e-scooters lying around waiting for customers. That wasn’t the city’s goal at all. She just wanted to get the lenders “Tier” and “Bolt” to check the identity of the borrowers by uploading their ID card or driver’s license into the respective app.

The goal: to be able to identify e-scooter users after accidents or violations of road traffic regulations. “Unfortunately, the e-scooters are mainly used improperly, including in pedestrian zones, on sidewalks and there have been many serious accidents,” city spokesman Martin Schulmann told the German Press Agency (DPA) on Thursday. However, the users have not yet been identified.

Until now, only names have to be specified in the rental apps – the rental companies do not check whether they are correct. “Bolt” and “Tier” want it to stay that way. They legally defended themselves against the corresponding regulatory order, but have now failed in preliminary legal protection proceedings before the administrative court (VG).

According to VG, “it is not apparent that the city’s decision to make the granting of permits dependent on a user’s identity check is obviously erroneous in its discretion.” An appeal can be lodged against the decision from last Monday, which will be decided by the Higher Administrative Court for North Rhine-Westphalia.

In many cities, e-scooters are considered a major nuisance and safety risk because, when parked carelessly or thrown on the ground, they become an obstacle and accidents are caused by sometimes reckless use. According to “WDR”, rental scooters have no longer been allowed to drive through Gelsenkirchen since the beginning of April. They should be completely gone in two days.

City spokesman Schulmann said he had not seen any rental e-scooters in the city on Thursday. There are already many inquiries from municipalities about “exactly how we did it”. If used appropriately and safely in accordance with traffic rules, e-scooters could be useful and an environmentally friendly alternative, he added.

After Paris, Gelsenkirchen could now follow suit.

Sources: City of Gelsenkirchen, Gelsenkirchen Administrative Court, DPA, “Der Westen”, “WDR”.