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Scooter-share finally rolls onto Seattle streets

The first provider of pay by the minute electric scooters has launched in Seattle with the green and white scooters already part of the Capitol Hill and Central District landscape.

Lime rolled out the first in its fleet Wednesday as part of Seattle’s newly launched scooter-share pilot program.

CHS reported here on the pilot that includes helmet requirements, sidewalk restrictions, and a 15 MPH limit on the electric motor-powered vehicles.

Powered by an Uber investment, Lime represents the “bikes plus scooters” player in Seattle’s three-pronged approach to testing the services. LINK has been selected to provide only the standard standing scooters while a company called Wheels has been invited to participate providing sit-down models “more accessible option for many people with mobility impairments.”

Each operator can deploy up to 500 scooters. The fleet could eventually grow to 2,000 scooters for each operator. They will pay a $150 fee per scooter.

In Seattle, Lime is launching with a $0.36 a minute rate after the $1 unlock fee. A 15-minute ride will cost you $6.40.

Share companies have been offering low-income discounts, and free rides for essential workers.

Mid-range electric scooters cost around $500 to $600 — around 85 15-minute scooter-share rides.

With the scooters already ubiquitous in many cities, Seattle says it has been able to learn from other municipalities at it shaped its pilot around safety issues. Helmets are already required by city law but are “incentivized” by the program requiring vendors to have plans to get customers to wear helmets. Vendors will also be required to indemnify the city for injuries for a broad set of claims related to their scooters.

Scooter speeds will be capped at 15 MPH including a 8 MPH-cap for first-time riders. The scooters will be allowed in bike lanes and on streets with speed limits of 25 MPH or lower. Sidewalk riding is not allowed. And parking is highly restricted.

As part of the program, the city will fund UW and Harborview Hospital to study the safety of scooters in Seattle.


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B
B
7 months ago

This things stink. Cities like Dallas and San Diego have had them for a few years and they are a nuisance.

RWK
RWK
7 months ago

Just curious: How are these scooters somehow preferable to the electric bikes, which have been available for quite awhile now? Do we really need both?

Yes scooters
Yes scooters
7 months ago

People generally feel more comfortable riding a scooter. But they are not to replace bikes. They are to expand mobility options, solutions.

What’s needed though is more accommodative infrastructure. Parking on arterials must be removed and mobility lanes for scooters, bikes, wheelchairs etc should replace parking. We can expand sidewalks at the same time to accommodate pedestrians and outdoor dining.

Far too much of the urban streetcars is devoted to cars and parking. More mobility options is good for the planet and our health.

Yes scooters

RWK
RWK
7 months ago
Reply to  Yes scooters

I think you would feel differently if you were a business owner on or nearby an arterial. Try to think more broadly than your own pet issue.