E–Scooters Are Coming
Electric scooters are making their way into Fayetteville this fall. Fayetteville city officials are preparing for the scooters’ arrival with the passage of Electric Motorized Scooter Act in the Arkansans State Legislature last month. Fayetteville City Council members approved a set of e-scooter regulations days before the passage of the new state law that requires municipalities to allow scooter companies to set up shop on public property.
Fayetteville’s will limit the total amount of e-scooters at 500. Additionally, a permitting process will require each vendor to pay $150 fee
plus $20 per scooter every six months. Individual vendors are limited to 250 scooters. The revenue generated from the permits will be used to administer the program to fund bicycle and scooter infrastructure improvements. The University of Arkansas is setting up a permitting process that is similar to the city’s permitting process allowing vendors to operate on campus.
The language of the new state law—Electric Motorized Scooter Act or Act 1015—sets regulations for e-scooter users at the state level. The operation of an e-scooter shall not be operated by a person under the age of 16 or at a speed greater than fifteen miles per hour. The new state law establishes guidelines for how local authorities can establish standards and regulations for incoming fleets of e-scooters within the confinements of state law.
Rules of the Road
For the purposes of safety, e-scooters are required to abide to the same traffic laws that cyclists are bound to. Users will not be allowed to ride the scooters on sidewalks that a building faces—such as Dickson Street—as someone could step out of a business and be in the path of an oncoming scooter. Scooters can be ridden on other sidewalks, trail systems and roadways.
The vendors will be required to equip the scooters with GPS technology that allows for no-ride and slow-ride zones. The university will designate slow-ride zones in the core of campus.
Coming in Hot
According to the National Association of City Transportation Officials, in 2018, people took 84 million trips on shared micromobility in the United States, which is more than double the number of trips taken in 2017. What exactly is shared micromobility? Shared micromobility encompasses all shared-use fleets of small, fully or partially human-powered vehicles such as bikes, e-bikes, and scooters. In 2018, people took 38.5 million trips on shared e-scooters while station-based bike share systems accumulated 36.5 million trips, meaning that e-scooters overtook bikes as the preferred vehicle for dock-less vendors. With just 10.5 months in operation, VeoRide has garnered up to 72,000 total rides since their launch. With the incoming freshman class, ridership is expected to grow in the Fall of 2019. The addition of e-scooters to the dockless bike share company will prove itself useful, and hopefully increase the popularity of the VeoRide.
My birthday present to myself! pic.twitter.com/pGBuOoZ9Lp
— Sen. Lisa Murkowski (@lisamurkowski) May 23, 2019