Authorities in Lisbon's old town are cracking down on what locals increasingly describe as a scourge — shared electric scooters abandoned on pavements.

The parish council which oversees the neighbourhoods around the medieval St. George's castle and the 18th-century downtown business district introduced fines of up to 300 euros ($507) on Monday for companies whose rented scooters litter sidewalks and other public spaces in the Portuguese capital.

The companies also have to cover the cost of the scooters' removal by officials.

Other European cities are also considering ways of balancing the needs of pedestrians and scooter riders.

Advertisement

Over the past year, nine companies have flooded Lisbon with thousands of electric scooters, part of the so-called micro-mobility revolution whereby consumers share rented scooters for short city trips.

City slickers: The most unusual urban transport systems

As a traveller nothing helps you navigate a new city better than the local public transport. Hailing an iconic yellow taxi, a black cab - or even a Vaporetto - lets you know you've arrived on the first part of your adventure.

However with shared transport apps offering rideshares and eclectic scooters now reliably on demand and in cities around the world, some of the local charm is getting away.

Wuppertal's futuristic hundred-year-old monorail. Photo / Getty Images
Wuppertal's futuristic hundred-year-old monorail. Photo / Getty Images

This year Ubers' car sharing app Getaround branched out into Europe, allowing travellers instant car rental from locals.

It's great for convenience, but bad for local character.

Here are some of the world's most unique public transport systems to remind you that getting there is half the fun!

Wuppertal monorail

The 118-year old Schwebebahn still looks like a vision of the future. Tourists to the German town can still can join commuters in riding the 8km suspended tracks over the river Wupper.

Advertisement

Netherlands amphibious buses

There's something unnerving about seeing a bus full of passengers floating past, but these amphibious buses are designed to take on both river and road. The fleet of bright yellow buses take passengers on tours through the streets and waterways of Rotterdam and Amsterdam. The floating tours with a novel perspective cost €27.50 or about N$47.

One of Holland's amphibious busses emerges from the Meuse river in Rotterdam. Photo / Getty Images
One of Holland's amphibious busses emerges from the Meuse river in Rotterdam. Photo / Getty Images

Medellin Metrocable

The hilly Colombian city of Medellin has come up with a novel solution to getting passengers up the 2000-metre slopes. As well as saving you a climb, the cables are surprisingly affordable. A day pass costs around 2000 peso, or NZ$1. A great way to see the city from above and get your bearings.

Up and away: Medellin Metrocable, Colombia. Photo / Getty Images
Up and away: Medellin Metrocable, Colombia. Photo / Getty Images

Madeira sleds

There are probably more modern - and safer - ways to traverse the hills of this Portuguese island. However tourists can still pay neatly dressed taxi men to cart them down the sloping streets of Funchal.

Sledding down the slopes of Funchal, Madiera. Photo / Getty Images
Sledding down the slopes of Funchal, Madiera. Photo / Getty Images

Alberta Terra bus

When the road gets tough the buses keep going in the Canadian state of Alberta. The mean looking machines are used to cart up to 56 passengers at a time over the Columbia Icefields throughout the harsh winter months.

When the road gets tough: A Terra bus takes on the Canadian winter in Alberta. Photo / Wikimedia Commons
When the road gets tough: A Terra bus takes on the Canadian winter in Alberta. Photo / Wikimedia Commons