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Omaha could soon roll out electric scooter pilot program

May 6, 2019

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Omaha pedestrians and drivers may soon have to make way for electric scooter riders on the city’s streets.

The City Council will vote Tuesday on a pilot project to bring up to 1,500 dockless scooters to Omaha through November.

Lime and Spin, the companies selected to test the transportation option in the city, said they could make the electric scooters available as early as Wednesday, the Omaha World-Herald reported.

The scooters are equipped with GPS so users can track them down for rent through a smartphone app. A 10-minute ride will cost around $2 to $3.

Electric scooters have become the most popular form of shared transportation outside transit and cars in the United States, according to a report by the National Association of City Transportation Officials.

Many Omaha council members have expressed support for the six-month project but there’s some hesitation about how the scooters are operated and parked.

Council member Chris Jerram is concerned about scooters being left on streets, in parking spots, near business entrances and anywhere that could risk tripping someone or blocking access to residents with disabilities.

The companies plan to educate renters about proper parking.

Riders using Lime’s app have to take a photo of where they’ve parked the scooter they rented.

The companies have also worked with city planners and other officials to create a legal framework for the use of electric scooters in Omaha, which includes prohibiting scooters from being ridden on sidewalks.

They negotiated a speed limit of 35 mph (56 kph), and operating hours between 5 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. The companies will collect and charge the scooters each night to be redistributed the next day.


Information from: Omaha World-Herald, http://www.omaha.com