Two months later Electric scooter officially on the streets of St. Petersburg, the first reports are in.
The judgment? Apart from a couple of speed bumps, it’s been a smooth ride so far.
“Things are not perfect, but they are going well” Evan Mory, the city’s transportation and park administration director, said that catalyst before an update of the Scooter Share program at the city council meeting on Thursday. “The only problems are where people don’t follow the rules, but the majority of them do.”
As of December 31, 2020, a total of 51,581 scooter trips were carried out by more than 28,000 drivers. Two police reports were filed of these trips – one in which a scooter driver bumped into a car and one in which a pedestrian accidentally got off in front of a scooter. The city has received around 20 complaints from community members, mostly about underage drivers and people driving on the sidewalk.
“We received fewer complaints than expected based on other cities with scooter programs,” said Mory. “Some of them got constant complaints and we didn’t have that problem.”
Mory attributes the success of the initiativewho have used more than 600 Razor and Veo scooters on the streets of downtown St. Pete, under the strict rules the city set when the program was approved. For example, drivers must return scooters to one of the designated corrals in the city center, and if not, they will continue to be charged by the minute. There are currently 90 scooter corrals, and the city plans to create around 100 of them by reusing unused space, using expanded hub areas for bike sharing, and converting parking lots and loading areas.
There are also strict rules in place about when, where, and how fast you can ride a scooter, and technology allows operators to enforce restricted areas such as the pier and certain sections of the Pinellas and North Bay trails. Hours of operation are between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. and the scooters are limited to a speed of 15 mph.
Additionally, scooters may only be used on bike lanes or on roads with speed limits of 30 miles per hour or less. While driving on the sidewalk is strictly prohibited and drivers are reminded every time they open the app to rent a scooter, GPS technology cannot always detect when someone is on a bike path or on the sidewalk .
“The main concern I have is driving on the sidewalk,” Mory said, adding that he and his team will continue to work to combat this, e.g. It is not a technology solution, it is a solution to human behavior, and sometimes human behavior is difficult to control. “
However, the St. Petersburg Police can do this for you. They have the authority to make stops and while tickets have not yet been written, they have warned people who drive recklessly. Veo and Razor also have the option to disable accounts of people who are found to be in breach of guidelines – or even banned – and the operators are currently in the process of putting larger identification numbers on the scooters to allow law enforcement officers to do so becomes easier and community members to report mockers. A cross-reference is created at regular intervals so that an account holder who has been blocked by one provider is also blocked by the other provider.
But despite these limitations, the scooter program has proven very popular, according to Mory, and is currently not recommending the city to make any changes to it. Another assessment will be conducted after a year to see if the Scooter Share program will continue, but Mory is optimistic.
“I would hope that the success of the first 60 days will continue and that the city will have an appetite to keep the program going,” he said.