Pilot program for e-scooters rolls out in downtown Phoenix

Sep 16, 2019, 2:30 PM
(Twitter Photo/@katie_stevens_e)...
(Twitter Photo/@katie_stevens_e)
(Twitter Photo/@katie_stevens_e)

PHOENIX – Electric scooters are now rolling across downtown Phoenix, but there are strict limits on the agile little transportation devices.

The City Council approved a six-month pilot program for e-scooter rentals within a designated boundary last month, looking to provide an option for “first-mile, last-mile connections,” Ashley Patton, spokeswoman for the city’s Street Transportation department, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Monday.

“We’ve seen scooters and other forms of micromobility spring up across the country and we had some community members … reach out to the Street Transportation department,” Patton said.

“So we worked with City Council to get a program approved, and then we developed and launched the program today.”

Three companies – Lime, Bird and Spin – received permits to operate 300 e-scooters each, primarily in the area bordered by McDowell Road to the north, Buckeye Road to the south, Seventh Avenue to the west and Seventh Street to the east.

“We found the need seems to be within the downtown core, but it is a pilot program, so we’ll be evaluating if these boundaries are too big, too little, if it needs to be expanded and if it, indeed, works for the downtown area,” Patton said.

The devices, which have a top speed of 15 mph, can be located and accessed through the companies’ mobile apps, with prices generally around $1 to unlock a scooter plus about 30 cents per minute, Patton said.

Riders must be at least 18 years old and have a valid driver’s license, and helmet usage is encouraged. The scooters should be operated only on streets, not sidewalks, and in bike lanes where available.

The city’s website contains details about the program as well as a boundary map, including “no-ride” zones where the devices are programmed to slow from a scoot to a crawl.

“In those areas, the scooters are geofenced, and we’re using GPS technology to minimize the speed,” Patton said. “So once you go into one of those no-ride zones, the scooter goes to less than 4 miles per hour and it will alert you that you are in a no-ride zone.

“So an example of that would be the ASU downtown campus.”

The program also includes more than 400 specified parking areas, so rides can’t start or end just anywhere.

“One unique quality about the city of Phoenix’s program is that we are requiring both the drop-off and pickup of scooters in one of our designated parking locations,” Patton said.

Patton said the program will be evaluated with the City Council after three months and again at the end of the pilot period, looking at things such as demand, usage and safety issues.

“And we’ll also be taking in community feedback,” she said. “So we want to hear from the residents, we want to hear from the business to see if this is, indeed, enhancing connectivity downtown.”

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Amy Phol contributed to this report.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Assorted craft beer samples at a micro-brewery. (Photo by John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images)...

Scottsdale’s Fate Brewing to host inaugural craft beer festival on Saturday

Scottsdale's Fate Brewing Company is gearing up to host the first ever Sour and Sweet Beer Fest that's coming to Old Town on Saturday.
5 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Ball Corp.)...

Beverage can manufacturer Ball Corp to close Phoenix plant

Metal-container manufacturer Ball Corp. said it is shutting down its aluminum can facility in Phoenix, citing rising costs and decreasing demand.
5 hours ago
(AP Photo, File/Keith Srakocic)...

Maricopa County records its most ballots in primary election history

The results of the 2022 August Primary election in Arizona were posted and a record 866,924 voters cast a ballot in Maricopa County.
5 hours ago
Musician/saxophonist Boney James performs onstage during An Evening of Jazz at Mable House Barnes A...

Arizona Jazz Fest set to hit High Street for 3 days in late October

High Street in Phoenix will be jumping to tunes come late October, when the Arizona Jazz Festival touches down for a three-day party. 
1 day ago
(Unsplash Photo)...

Chandler police seeking suspect who lured, sexually assaulted child

Police are looking for a suspect after a child was lured away from a bus stop by a man driving a golf cart and sexually assaulted.
1 day ago
Follow @ktar923...
Sponsored Content by Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.

Sponsored Articles

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
Pilot program for e-scooters rolls out in downtown Phoenix