Lessons from Tempe: City explains e-scooter regulations

Published: Sep. 9, 2019 at 6:50 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Counting down the days until e-scooters make their arrival in Tucson.

"Way quicker than if you were just walking," said Allen George. He utilized the e-scooter on his lunch break.

But in Tempe, they're already making a difference for riders like Allen George. It gives him that extra pep.

"I have 30 minutes for lunch so instead of taking 6 minutes to get there - it cuts it by a third," said George. "It takes me a minute or two to get there."

It's been about a year since these scooters made their first appearance on Tempe streets, but these things kicked into high gear quickly. That's why the City of Tempe had to figure out new rules to get a handle on them.

"They were kind of a system shock when overnight the city inundated," explained Tempe Councilmember Randy Keating. He said there were a lot of problems when the scooters arrived.

"The City was losing money at first," said Keating.

The City started charging companies a fee per day per scooter.

But there were other roadblocks too, like people blocking ADA compliant ramps.

Issues even e-scooter riders like Ana-Cristina Ruja are aware of.

"I've seen them being left dead straight in the middle of the sidewalk," said Ruja.

KOLD News 13 was told city staff and local law enforcement help manage the mayhem.

"I think it was growing a lot," explained Ruja. "But they kind of put a halt on it because of that."

Giving out citations for not obeying typical traffic laws and blocking the sidewalk.

Though riders like George said, the e-scooter apps themselves seem to try and curb the issue too.

"It could cause issues but they're quick to alert you and they tell you you could be hit with a fine," said George.

Riders, companies and city officials working together so no one has to pump the brakes on these e-scooters.

"They very much are disruptive technology, in a positive way," said Keating.

The City of Tempe also said they noticed a spike in scooter-related emergency room visits when these scooters first rolled out.

Now - we’re told numbers have decreased.

Copyright 2019 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.