Nearly 1,000 e-scooters will soon be available for rent after Tallahassee’s City Commission greenlit a three-month electric scooter program. The city is now looking into which vendors to hire.
Before residents can rev up the 999 scooters coming to Tallahassee roads, the city must first find suitable vendors, and that means answering some important questions before anyone gets approval.
"How do they re-balance their scooters, how do they charge them, how do they make sure they’re parked in the right space, how do they encourage safe scooting practices, and how they educate the riders on when and how they can use the scooters among other things," says Julie Christesen, Senior Planner with the Tallahassee and Leon County Planning Department.
Instead of attendants teaching riders the ropes, Christesen says the checking in and out of e-scooters might be through an app.
So, when you would check out a scooter, what would come up on your screen—and this is just an example—could be something like this is how you check it out. This is how you ride it. This is how you make it stop. This is where you can and cannot ride. This is where you can and cannot park. This is any other safety information. You know, please use a helmet.
The maximum speed of the e-scooters will be 15 miles per hour. Due to recent legislation, e-scooters can be treated the same as bikes if regulated by local governments. This means the scooters can ride on roads, sidewalks, and bicycle lanes.
“We will present an ordinance to the city commission that would lay out how and where e-scooters could be allowed in our community. That will have a first reading, and then there will be a public hearing on that, and then on the June 19th Commission meeting a staff suggested list of vendors will be presented and the commission will be able to vote on that,” Christesen said.
Before the program was greenlit, nine scooter companies had reached out to the city. However, only three will be chosen for the pilot.