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Phoenix City Council ordinance repeal could grease wheels for e-scooters

(Getty Images Photo/Dan Kitwood)

PHOENIX – With no takers for the Phoenix City Council dockless bike program, the ordinance was recently revoked, possibly to make way for electric scooters.

The council discontinued the bikeshare program at its May 15 formal meeting. The ordinance had been in effect since last summer. But several months later, the city’s Aviation and Transportation subcommittee proposed a pilot program for e-scooters limited to about 2 square miles downtown.

Staff has been updating that proposal to present at upcoming meetings with the planning and economic development and aviation subcommittees.

“The results of those meetings will determine the next steps,” Briiana Velez, assistant director for street transportation, said in an email Tuesday to KTAR News 92.3 FM.

If the plan eventually is approved by the council, the scooters could start rolling as soon as 30 days after the vote. That allows time for ordinance changes to take effect.

The Phoenix proposal listed a shared electric scooter permit fee of $5,000 for six months and a relocation parking fee of $80 per vehicle.

A report released in April by the National Association of City Transportation Officials showed that U.S. riders took 38.5 million trips on shared electric scooters in 2018. That surpassed the 36.5 million trips on shared, docked bicycles.

Other Valley cities have jumped on board the e-scooter rage, and they have had problems.

The scooters were banned at Arizona State University in Tempe, cited as potential danger.

In February, Lime, which operates in more than 100 cities, announced it was pulling its scooters out of Tempe, pointing to new regulations and fees.

A yearly license to operate was close to $8,000 and relocation fees were $100 per scooter.

Scottsdale put specific rules in place for renters.

In the West Valley, Peoria and Glendale pulled the plug on the scooters in the winter.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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