YAKIMA, WA – Electric scooters like those in Spokane or Seattle may be on their way to downtown Yakima.
Electric scooter companies Lime and Bird reached out to the city of Yakima to launch an e-scooter pilot program in downtown Yakima.
A representative from Lime says this could help economic development.
“Many of the benefits of shared scooters are in tourism. They help people discover the great aspects of the community that they would otherwise not find. The hidden gems of the community,” said Jonathan Hopkins, Lime Representative.
City council members appreciate the opportunity but want to address safety and liability concerns.
Councilor Brad Hill said, “Every time I hear about these scooters, it’s usually my friends in Nashville get drunk and break their heads or something. And who’s liable if that happens in Yakima ? “
Yakima City Attorney Sara Watkins says the scooter company is usually liable for injuries to the scooter itself.
However, the city can be held liable depending on road conditions including cracks in sidewalks, potholes and lighting.
“The city really needs to look at the conditions of the locations where the scooters are going to be used. To make sure our roads are not dangerous for these scooters before we can move forward with the pilot program,” said Watkins.
Before starting the program, the city manager must prepare a request for quotation that takes into account all safety concerns.
It is not clear when the electric scooter pilot program will start in downtown Yakima.