Jeramey Jannene

Do You Love or Hate the Scooters?

City launches survey in advance of pilot study ending in December.

By - Sep 25th, 2019 04:22 pm
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.

As much as we might hate to admit it, summer is over. And with that comes colder weather, less sunlight and a decline in the number of trips taken on the electric scooters. The last of which might be a cause for celebration or sorrow.

The City of Milwaukee’s Dockless Scooter Pilot Study, which allows private scooters providers to operate in the city legally for the first time, is scheduled to end on December 31st. The city will revisit the study next year, which could result in a permanent licensing program being established. But before that happens the Department of Public Works is soliciting feedback on experience for riders and non-riders alike.

A new 18-question survey, which can be taken anonymously, asks questions ranging from how often people have ridden and what would cause them to ride more to assessing the biggest areas of concern and the establishment of a license for the scooter companies. It also asks about respondents primary transportation mode.

Lime, Bird and Spin are the only companies authorized to provide dockless scooter rental in Milwaukee via a pilot program. Users unlock the scooters using a smartphone application and pay a per-minute fee to utilize the scooters, which can go up to 15 miles per hour. The three companies are able to place up to 250 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 100 additional scooters, bringing each company’s total fleet size to 350, in two additional zones (50 scooters per zone) which encompass the rest of the city and are roughly divided by Interstate 94. The three companies pay independent contractors a per-scooter fee to take the scooters home and charge them overnight.

The city paused allowing new operators in the program shortly after Lime launched in July, with Mayor Tom Barrett citing sidewalk riding as the chief concern. He said over 100 citizen complaints had been received by the city at the time. “We want to make this work, but it is not going to work if we don’t have compliance with the law,” said Barrett on August 2nd.

But the city ended that “pause” eight days later, citing a city study that found 83 percent of trips taken in compliance with the law.

If you love or hate the scooters, or are totally indifferent, now is the time to let the city know.

Terms of the city’s pilot program require the companies to pay the city $50 per scooter deployed through the end of 2019.

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Categories: Transportation

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