Vienna For Members

EXPLAINED: What are the new e-scooter rules in Vienna?

Amanda Previdelli
Amanda Previdelli - [email protected]
EXPLAINED: What are the new e-scooter rules in Vienna?
Photo: Martin BUREAU/AFP

While some European capitals are banning or considering a ban on the ubiquitous e-scooters, Vienna has settled for stricter rules that are valid from May 19th. Here's what you need to know.


The City of Vienna has long tried to implement stricter rules for the e-scooters that private companies run under a concession award, but an ongoing legal dispute with them has made it harder to bring about broader changes in the regulations. 

However, according to the administration, the Austrian capital was able to implement a part of its original plan, and some important rules have changed from May 19th.

The main change is that from this date on, parking on the sidewalk will be prohibited. In addition, there will be fixed parking areas, restricted zones, and low-speed zones - though those are still in the planning stage and have not been designated yet.

READ ALSO: Everything that's happening in Vienna in May 2023

Until mid-May, they will be clearly marked on the streets and should appear on the rental apps. Anyone trying to park their scooters outside of the allowed areas will not be able to end their use of the transport on the application.

By the end of the year, 200 of the fixed scooter areas are to be set up. In 2024, 100 more will be added. Incorrectly parked scooters must be removed immediately by the operators, according to the regulations.

The restricted zones will also be defined, and the rental scooters will not be able to operate in the vicinity of hospitals, in parks or at markets. 

Slow-speed zones, on the other hand, will exist in pedestrian zones or residential streets, for example. Speed will be automatically reduced in these areas. Compliance with the rules will be monitored by parking enforcement officers - the so-called "parking sheriffs".


Vienna also wants to reduce the maximum number of scooters available, but that can only be done through a change in the concession contract, which is currently under judicial dispute.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How does the Vienna parking system work?

Pictured is an E-scooter.

Pictured is an E-scooter. Photo by Alexander Schimmeck on Unsplash

Other rules you should be aware of

Some of the previous rules continue to be in place in the Austrian capital. If you plan to ride an e-scooter, you should also know them. For example, those driving electric scooters must observe traffic rules and speed limits.

Additionally - and this rule is often broken - driving on sidewalks, pedestrian zones or protective paths is prohibited.

Electric scooters, like bicycles, must be equipped with brakes, headlights to the front, red taillights, and reflectors or rear reflectors. Helmets are only mandatory for children under 12 years of age, and the kids would also need to be accompanied by a person who is at least 16 years old unless they have a bicycle licence. 

Finally, talking on the phone while driving is prohibited (and fines have just increased).

Rules for unmotorised scooters (those operated by muscle power) are more lenient. For example, you can ride them on a sidewalk or pedestrian zone as long as neither the traffic on the roadway nor pedestrians are endangered or obstructed. Children from the age of eight are allowed to ride them unsupervised.


What is the ongoing legal dispute?

The city of Vienna had been looking for four e-scooter rental companies for the federal capital via an EU-wide tender. However, five providers applied. The established providers "Bird", "Lime", and "Link" were selected, as well as the Swedish operator "Voi".

The company "Tier-Mobility", which was not awarded a concession in the process, took city authorities to court, which led to the planned start of the new arrangement at the beginning of May being postponed.

As Mobility City Councillor Ulli Sima (SPÖ), NEOS mobility spokeswoman Angelika Pipal-Leixner and lawyer Claus Casati explained in a conversation with journalists this week, it is expected that the Regional Administrative Court will decide on the appeal in two to three months. Only then could the overall concept be implemented. 

READ ALSO: How to get a €5,000 government subsidy to buy an electric car in Austria

For the city, however, the procedure means a delay in that the contracts with the operators cannot be concluded. Once they are, the reduction of the vehicles in specific areas where there is an oversupply will be fixed. For example, companies have already been told that the maximum number in the inner city will be set to 500 e-scooters. In the districts of Leopoldstadt to Alsergrund and Brigittenau, a total of 1,500 e-scooters will be allowed in the future.

To this end, the supply of the outer districts is to be improved, and there will be a "dashboard" that permanently displays the current locations of the scooters. In addition, according to Stadt Wien, there are also technical requirements for rental vehicles, such as mandatory turn signals.


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also