Scooter share pilot program launches in the Bronx

THE BRONX, New York City (WABC) -- Three companies are partnering to launch a new scooter sharing service in the Bronx, and Lime, Bird and Veo hosted a celebration Tuesday to mark the event.

Residents can now rent scooters as part of a pilot program from the New York City Department of Transportation.

"This is an exciting announcement as we officially bring shared micro-mobility to the East Bronx community," DOT Commissioner Hank Gutman said. "With safety as our top priority, we look forward to a continued collaboration with Bird, Lime and Veo, elected officials and local Bronx communities to make e-scooter share an effective, convenient, and equitable way to get around."

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Neighborhoods from Eastchester and Co-op City to Morris Park are included in Phase One, while Phase Two will include neighborhoods farther south, including Throggs Neck and Soundview, in 2022.

In total, the zone is an 18-square-mile area home to a diverse population of 570,000 residents, including 25,000 NYCHA residents.

"We want to give people solutions," Lime Senior Director of Government Relations Phil Jones said. "Providing connectivity, providing something that's sustainable, equitable, and affordable. That's the way we do this work, and that's what we hope to bring through our new offerings here with our scooters."

The pilot program will allow the DOT to test a variety of strategies to manage sidewalk clutter, including dedicated parking corrals and using real time e-scooter data to ensure parking compliance.

The DOT will complete an evaluation of the pilot that will examine usage, trip patterns, safety, e-scooter parking behavior, system accessibility and other factors.

The companies have priced their scooters at the following rates:
--Veo: $1 to unlock and $0.39 per minute
--Lime: $1 to unlock and $0.30 per minute
--Bird: $1 to unlock and $0.39 per minute

All three electric mobility options, however, offer discounts to low income individuals, students, and essential workers.

Safety issues will play a big role in the success or failure of the eco-friendly alternative launching city wide, as accidents and injuries are a problem nationwide.

Chicago had 192 accidents in 2019, while there were 129 each in Miami and Fort Lauderdale the same year.

Since e-scooters became legal in New York City last year, there have been at least 575 accidents, many involving scooter riders injuring soeone else.

More than 400 cyclists have been hurt and 94 pedestrians.

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For rookies, the rides won't go above 10 miles per hour, and you can't ride at night the first three times.

You have to log trips and time, built into the software, to override the precaution.

It is illegal to ride on the sidewalk, rather the scooters must be used on the street, close to the curb, and with traffic.

All three companies are also providing helmets to protect riders at no cost.

The three companies have also hired locally and have guaranteed a range of consumer and labor protections.

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