New York is on the verge of endorsing a joint pilot electric scooter program that opens up a potentially profitable market and a new battlefield in micromobility in the United States.
The New York City Council is expected to vote on Thursday on a bill requiring the New York City Department of Transportation to set up a pilot program to operate shared electric scooters in the city. proposed legislation it will first be considered by the Transport Committee at 10 a.m. EST, and then will move on to the full assembly, which is scheduled for 13:30. ET. The committee is expected to approve this measure.
The proposed legislation will require the Ministry of Transport until October 15, 2020 to request proposals for participation in the joint pilot program of the electronic scooter. The pilot program should be launched by March 1, 2021.
“New Yorkers need more sustainable and safer mobility and transportation during this pandemic – and this is especially true for our key delivery service workers who deserve our gratitude and our support for this city to work even on the darkest days of this crisis. ” New York Council Speaker Corey Johnson said in an email before tomorrow’s vote. “Electronic bicycles and scooters will become an important part of the transit future of our city, and I am proud of the work of the Council to ensure the future safe and fair“.
Lime is one of several common electric scooter companies wishing to participate in a pilot project. The micromobile company has spent the past two years working with elected officials, social justice organizations, and lawyers to finally make scooters available to New Yorkers, Phil Jones, senior director of government relations at Lime, told TechCrunch via email.
“The urgent need to offer alternative transportation options for cars seems to have led us to this,” Jones said.
A recent poll by the New York Environmental Protection League, Tri-State Transport Campaign, and Lime, a micromobility sharing company, suggests that there is support for electric scooters in New York. A survey conducted between June 15 and 19 showed that 92% of respondents would prefer to use scooters as an alternative to cars during the COVID-19 crisis. (It should be noted that the survey was sent to more than 30,000 New Yorkers who are members of the NYLCV, TSTC and Lime networks; 394 responded).
Spin confirmed that, if approved, he plans to apply for permission. TechCrunch has contacted a number of other e-scooter rental companies including Bird, Lyft and Skip. The article will be updated if these companies respond.
While the proposed law was first introduced two years ago, the technical implementation of the pilot program was not possible until April this year, when New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law on the legalization of the use of electric throttle scooters and bicycles in the state. In accordance with state law, joint scooters in Manhattan are prohibited, and the pilot program must be approved by the New York City Council before shared scooters can operate in the remaining areas of Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island.
The proposed local law establishes some requirements for the structure of the pilot program. Neighborhoods that do not have access to existing bike sharing programs will receive priority in determining the geographic boundaries of the pilot program. Companies that receive permits will have to abide by current regulations, such as providing accessible scooter options.
It is not clear how many companies will be granted permission or whether there will be restrictions on the number of scooters in each park. Jones from Lime said that “successful scooter programs provide a careful balance that allows you to compete between multiple operators, but not as much as it becomes oversaturated and uncontrollable.”
According to Lime, a successful scooter program will allow you to determine fleet size on demand, include service areas in denser communities with nearby transit options, ensure that areas are large enough to connect residential and commercial areas, and guarantee access to low-income areas . Jones added that he provides unprecedented growth in the network of bicycle lanes and benefits from it.
It is also expected that the committee on transport and the full council will discuss and possibly approve the rules on the private use of electric bicycles and scooters. One of the proposed laws will allow the private use of scooters in Manhattan. Sharing scooters in Manhattan is prohibited by state law.