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scooters

A Lyft scooter in Austin, Texas. The scooters are leaving Columbus this week.
Tony Webster / Flickr

Starting Saturday, Lyft scooters will no longer be available in Columbus, just months after coming to the city. The company is also leaving Nashville and San Antonio.  

Lime electric scooter
Gabe Rosenberg / WOSU

The Ohio State University is seeking bids from companies that rent shared mobility devices like bikes and scooters.  They’ve put out an RFP, or request for proposals, to lay out what they expect of the vendors hoping to do business on campus.

Dockless electric scooters are available for rent in dozens of U.S. cities. While the companies behind them are quick to extol their benefits, some health and safety experts are starting to see the challenges that come along for the ride. Scooter companies and city officials say they are aware of the issues, but solutions aren't coming anytime soon.

Lime electric scooter
Gabe Rosenberg / WOSU

Some cities throughout the state have put regulations in place for light weight electric scooters. Now state lawmakers are looking at doing the same thing statewide.

Lime electric scooter
Gabe Rosenberg / WOSU

Columbus City Council has sided with Mayor Andrew Ginther in his quest to keep electric scooters off of city sidewalks.

Bird scooters landed in Cincinnati in July and not everybody is happy about it.

Lime electric scooter
Gabe Rosenberg / WOSU

Mayor Andrew Ginther is introducing regulations to keep electric scooter riders in the street rather than on city sidewalks.

Motorized Scooters & Regulating Tech

Aug 30, 2018
Lime electric scooter
Gabe Rosenberg / WOSU

Columbus has become one of many cities from around the country that have seen an influx in motorized scooters in recent months. The Department of Public Service rolled out a new set of regulations this week for the scooters that seemingly appeared overnight on city sidewalks this summer.

Today on All Sides, we discuss those new rules and how the city plans to regulate the motorized scooters. 

Over the past year, dockless electric scooters have descended on city sidewalks almost as if they fell from the sky. From Austin, Texas, to Denver to Cambridge, Mass., these compact two-wheelers are leading what researchers are calling the "micro-mobility revolution."

But their arrival has not been without controversy.

A Cincinnati council member said Wednesday any agreement between the city and Bird, the electric scooter company that launched here recently, should include language for the company to cover damages suffered by victims of misuse of the motorized scooters.

Lime electric scooter
Gabe Rosenberg / WOSU

Columbus’ Department of Public Safety has started regulating shared public mobility devices, including electric scooters, effective immediately.

Bird is removing its electric scooters from Cleveland today. The company says in a written statement it is “voluntarily pausing our operations” while it works with the city to come to an agreement for ongoing operations of their dockless e-scooters. 

“We have had productive conversations with Councilman Kerry McCormack and community members, and are hopeful that we will be able to collaborate with the City on their permitting process,” according to a Bird spokesperson.

Lime electric scooter
Gabe Rosenberg / WOSU

Go to downtown Columbus or The Ohio State University campus and you’ll see motorized scooters. A lot of scooters.

When Adam Stephens walked into his office in Milwaukee one morning in late June, he found messages complaining about the Birds. The deputy city attorney was not amused.

He went for a walk. "Within a couple of minutes, I found one parked on a sidewalk and was able to visually examine it and kind of figure out what it was," Stephens says.

Bird is the name of an electric scooter company. Unannounced, it dropped off somewhere between 70 and 100 rental scooters throughout Milwaukee, where it's illegal to ride motorized scooters in public.