City of Minneapolis approves launch of 2020 equitable scooter programme
Posted: 17 July 2020 | Sam Mehmet (Intelligent Transport)
Lyft and Bird are to operate e-scooters in the City, with new regulations requiring them to implement additional equitable pricing and access initiatives.
Scooter riders must follow the same traffic laws as bicyclists, as regulated by state law. Scooters cannot be ridden on pavements and, as of this year, scooters must be locked to a public bike rack or municipal signpost (except bus stop and stop signs), or parked in designated scooter parking zones when not in use.
Under the programme, the number of scooters allowed in the city is capped at 2,500 to be divided evenly among the operators. A maximum of 1,000 scooters are allowed downtown and surrounding neighbourhoods, and at least 750 scooters must be distributed in areas of concentrated poverty in north, northeast and south Minneapolis. The programme runs through 31 March 2021.
Equity and safety are said to be key focus areas for the programme. Beyond the scooter distribution requirements, operators are required to have low-income pricing programmes and alternative access options for people who do not have smartphones or require a cash payment option. They are also required to have ongoing education and outreach on safe riding and proper parking behaviour, as well as the previously mentioned equitable pricing and access initiatives.