Jeramey Jannene
Transportation

The Scooters Are Here!

Lime begins deploying 500 scooters on Milwaukee streets.

By - Jul 23rd, 2019 12:36 pm
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Lime scooters on Broadway in the Historic Third Ward. Photo by Dave Reid.

Lime scooters on Broadway in the Historic Third Ward. Photo by Dave Reid.

Lime has begun deploying its scooters on Milwaukee streets.

It’s the first electric scooter company permitted to rent scooters in Milwaukee as part of a recently approved pilot program. The scooters, which can go up to 15 miles per hour, can be rented via Lime’s smartphone application.

The company, which demonstrated its scooters to the media Monday afternoon, was approved to deploy 500 scooters.

Available Lime scooters. Image by Jeramey Jannene/Lime.

Available Lime scooters. Image by Jeramey Jannene/Lime.

At the time of publication, most of the available scooters were located along W. St. Paul Ave. underneath the Marquette Interchange. Additional scooters appeared in the Historic Third Ward.

“Milwaukee’s forward-thinking commitment to providing its community with diverse transportation options is inspiring,” said Lime’s Midwest government relations and strategic development director Nico Probst in a statement. “We are excited to partner with the city on that goal and help better connect communities across Milwaukee with our fleet of electric scooters that make it easier and more affordable to get around.”

“We expect Lime and all scooter operators to be community partners,” said Department of Public Works (DPW) Commissioner Jeff Polenske. A DPW release said the department has made it clear the company is required to educate its users that sidewalk riding is illegal and scooters must be parked in a way that does not impede pedestrian access.

What will Lime do regarding concerns about sidewalk riding or misparked scooters? “Having a local team that can respond to issues in real time is the most important thing we can do to address issues,” Probst told Urban Milwaukee yesterday.

“Also at the end of the ride you have to take a picture of where you parked your scooter,” said Probst. “That sends a nudge about how you park your scooter.”

The local team will also work with riders on appropriate riding behavior. “We know this is a new technology. We want to have those conversations with riders directly,” said Probst.

Under the pilot program, Polenske has the ability to fine Lime or revoke its permit.

The city’s pilot program allows companies to place up to 350 dockless scooters each in an area east of Interstate 43 running from W. Oklahoma Ave. north to the city limits near W. Capitol Dr. that includes Downtown, the East Side, Brewers Hill, BronzevilleHarambeeBay View and a special cutout west to N. 22nd St. for Marquette University.

The companies are able to place additional scooters, bringing each company’s total fleet size to 750, in two additional zones which encompass the rest of the city and are roughly divided by Interstate 94. Scooter fleets would be allowed to increase to 1,000 in size if certain performance metrics outlined in the pilot study, including utilization, are met.

The city has authorized Lime, which will rely on a 15-person staff and independent contractors to charge the electric vehicles, to place 400 scooters in the downtown zone. That includes the base 350 scooters plus an additional 50 scooters earned for placing 50 scooters in each of the remaining two zones.

Terms of the city’s pilot document require Lime to pay the city $50 per scooter deployed through the end of 2019 and $300 to review the application.

The pilot is scheduled to end on December 31st, 2019. A formal permitting program is intended to replace it.

Bird and Spin still have pending applications to deploy scooters.

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Categories: Transportation

One thought on “Transportation: The Scooters Are Here!”

  1. 45 years in the City says:

    Only a matter of time before we see a new batch of ads from the personal injury attorneys: “Call us if you’re hurt on (or by) a scooter”.

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