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Phoenix to officially launch e-scooter program Monday

Posted: 7:19 PM, Sep 13, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-13 22:19:45-04
Are electric scooter haters missing a chance to save money?

PHOENIX — On Monday, Phoenix will officially launch e-scooters within the city, but you will not be able to ride without some restrictions that are different than what we have seen in other cities.

There were concerns over clutter and safety, which is why Phoenix officials said they waited to let e-scooters roam the streets of downtown.

"We're taking information from cities to know what is working well and what's not working well," said Ashley Patton, who is with the city's Street Transportation Department. She said researchers even looked to other states to see how their program could be different.

"Our scooters must be both deployed and parked within specific parking locations," Patton explained.

To ensure e-scooters are not scattered everywhere, there are 400 spots where riders can pick up or drop off your e-scooter.

"One of which is these designated areas that have this white pole with the yellow reflective scooter icon," Patton described. "So, you're not going to be able to end your ride until the parking has been met adequately and it's in one of those proper spaces."

That would mean your bill would keep rolling higher, too.

Riders are also asked to report scooters that are not in the correct parking spot.

"If you find a scooter in an improperly parked location, you're going to be able to report that directly to the company," Patton explained.

If the e-scooter companies do not pick them up within two hours, they will be fined by the city.

Another difference with the city of Phoenix's e-scooter program is that you cannot ride outside a certain perimeter that has been created with geo-fencing technology.

"Some of them make a noise at you, some of them have a haptic vibration... some of them, the app will notify you," Patton described. "And eventually the scooter will slow down to below four miles per hour."

Phoenix will be working with emergency responders and hospitals to keep track of how many accidents they have involving e-scooters.

"Safety was top of mind in the development of this program," Patton said. "One of the key components is that scooters will have to be ridden in the streets or in bike lanes, if they are available."

Helmets are encouraged, but not required.

Riders do have to be at least 18 years old and have a valid driver's license.

"The hope is that it will increase connectivity downtown and give residents another low cost option to get around our city," Patton said.

The program is a six-month pilot program and city officials will be looking for your feedback on how they are working or not working.

You can submit your feedback here.