Coronavirus is changing the way people travel around cities. Many people are seeking to avoid the close quarters posed by public transportation. E-scooters, by definition, allow for safe social distancing, and micro-mobility seems to be the wave of the future. Ridership of e-scooters has doubled during the pandemic in many cities. As a result, some cities that rejected e-scooter programs in the past are now bringing them back.
Bringing Back E-scooters
This summer, both Minneapolis and Chicago announced that they were bringing back the e-scooter programs the cities had previously turned away. In July, Minneapolis announced an agreement with Lyft and Bird to allow scooters back in the city. The agreement requires the companies to use enhanced cleaning protocols, distribute scooters in lower-income neighborhoods, and require that scooters be locked to pole or bike racks. The city is also requiring companies to offer low-income pricing and options for those who do not have smartphones. The agreement will run through March of 2021. City officials could expand the program if ridership exceeds expectations.
Similarly, in Chicago, officials have authorized Bird, Lime, and Spin to operate as part of the city’s e-scooter pilot program. There will be a total of 10,000 scooters deployed citywide. Previously, scooters were only able to operate in a certain area of the city, but now they will be permitted to operate citywide. The goal of the program is to provide more equitable and balanced e-scooter distribution. The scooters must be frequently cleaned, and riders will be encouraged to wear gloves. Scooters must be docked between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. and are not permitted in the central business district.
Newly Adopted E-scooter Programs
In addition to some cities bringing scooters back in the wake of the pandemic, other cities are deciding to begin e-scooter programs for the first time. St. Petersburg announced that it is beginning an e-scooter program that should go into effect in September. Initially, 450 scooters will be deployed, but it is expected that the number will increase. Additionally, the Seattle city council is currently reviewing a proposal to add an e-scooter program to its roadways.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve been injured in an e-scooter accident, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney. Gregg Goldfarb has been helping the injured for over 20 years. Contact us online or call us at 305-374-7000 to schedule a free consultation.