Ron DeSantis signed a law lifting many restrictions from the use of e-scooters, and now Tallahassee is seeing early impact.
In May, HB 453 on Mobility Devices was ordered enrolled for ratification by the Florida House to be signed by DeSantis in June. Later the same month, Tallahassee green-lit a three-month trial program that would bring electric scooters to the greater Tallahassee metro-area.
Last week, the city selected a new vendor.
The program begins July 15 and runs into mid-October with VeoRide joining the existing vendor pool as a chosen partner to implement 200 of 1,000 e-scooters involved in the pilot.
Senior Planner with the Tallahassee and Leon County Planning Department, Julie Christesen, told WFSU some things considered in the vendor selection process included:
“How do they [vendors] re-balance their scooters, how do they charge them, how do they make sure they’re parked in the right space, how do they encourage safe scooting practices, and how they educate the riders on when and how they can use the scooters among other things.”
Other vendors involved in the pilot include Lime, a company known for its partnership with Uber, and Spin, who works with the city’s bike-share vendor, Zagster.
While this is good news for those who want to be less reliant on cars, the micro-mobility movement is not without its concerns for Tallahassee residents.
While data shows the number of serious incidents on electric scooters pales in comparison to cars, the road can still be a dangerous place for scooter drivers.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says, “Based on 130 confirmed injury incidents, the e-scooter related injury incidence rate was 14.3 per 100,000 trips.”
It’s important for the overall safety of micro-mobility drivers that they be able to share space with bicyclists in bike lanes and trails, as established by the new law.
The new legislation provides operators of e-scooters and other micro-mobility devices have the same rights and duties applicable to bicyclists.
If you’re in Tallahassee after July 15 and looking to catch a VeoRide, the company says:
“The e-scooters can be located using the free VeoRide app, and will be allowed to travel along sidewalks, bicycle lanes and roads. They can be easily shut down and returned near sidewalk areas located within the pilot program boundaries.”
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