Gotcha, Lime, and VeoRide are the e-scooter vendors recommended by City of Tallahassee staff to participate in the upcoming pilot program slated to go live on July 15.
E-Scooters populate major cities, from Atlanta to L.A — and very soon, Tallahassee will join their ranks. Recent legislation legalized micro-mobility devices like e-scooters, but the measure met with caution from Florida League of Cities’ Jeff Branch.
“Last couple years we had—our state dealt with dockless bikes,” says Branch.
Dockless refers to vehicles that don’t need to be returned to a specific location.
“The bikes descended upon Florida,” Branch says, “unregulated—just dropped their bikes on the sidewalks—caused havoc in other states—caused issues with folks with disabilities navigating.”
Now that the bill has passed, almost one thousand e-scooters will be on Tallahassee streets mid-July. However, the ordinance city staff proposes does not take extra measures to enforce issues like Americans with Disability Act compliance. If a scooter blocks a wheelchair user’s path, they can file a complaint, but they will have to wait upwards of an hour for something to be done. City and County Transportation Planner, Julie Christesen says she expects the vendors to give high priority to ADA compliance issues.
“You could call the city or you could call the company. The scooter company would ideally move it very quickly because they would know that it’s blocking an ADA compliance and they would need to make that a top priority or if you called the city we would let them know or we would go out ourselves,” says Christesen.
Information City staff received from vendors shows the average response time to be within 2 to 4 hours and not the recommended 1 hour. After ending a ride, most e-scooter companies require riders to take a picture of their parked scooter. Any fines for riders who improperly park scooters will be regulated through the e-scooter vendors—Not the city. Additionally, the city has not inquired as to how much data scooter companies can track and are leaving it up to the discretion of the company. A public hearing on the pilot program will begin at 6 pm at the Smith-Williams Service Center on June 19.