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Omaha announces new scooter pilot program for 2020

New requirements for vendors and riders
Posted at 1:04 PM, May 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-07 18:47:53-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — After mixed reactions over Omaha's scooter pilot program last year, the city says it has plans for a new scooter pilot program ready. The new proposal includes new rules with the possibility of fining riders who violate them.

This time around, Lime has chosen not to participate. Two other vendors, Spin and Bird, tentatively plan to be part of the pilot program beginning on June 8 with an end date of November 20.

Along with the program, Stothert is proposing a new ordinance which will include the scooters in the city's code and list violations. Violating the rules outlined could mean possible fines for riders.

"We learned a lot during the first pilot, said Mayor Jean Stothert. "We have added new requirements for the vendors and the riders to improve safety and education. A second pilot gives us the opportunity to gather more information before we make a decision about a long-term scooter proram in Omaha."

The new requirements for the program include:

  • Vendors must deliver the newest model of scooters available, with 10-inch pneumatic air-filled tires and batteries mounted at the base of the scooter
  • Vendors must have capability to comply city-designated Geo-fenced slow-down and no ride zones
  • Each person can unlock only one scooter at a time -- one rider can't pay for a group or family
  • Communication and outreach -- rider requirements must be posted on each scooter including the minimum age for riders, no riding on sidewalks and parking restrictions
  • Public engagement events and information material will be required including a First-ride instruction program
  • Vendors must have the capability to shut down user accounts with multiple violations

Other requirements include:

  • Users must be 18-years-old
  • Helmets are encouraged but not required
  • A valid driver's license is required
  • No riding on sidewalks
  • Maximum speed 15 mph
  • Scooters are prohibited on streets with speed limits greater than 35 mph
  • Hours of operation 7:00 a.m. - 10:30 p.m.
  • One-time, $10,000 operations fee
  • Each vendor selected will be limited to 750 scooters during the pilot period. (Last year, the daily average of available scooters was 597).
  • Vendor indemnification of City of liabilities

The city also provided a summary of last year's pilot program:

  • Number of trips: 208,847
  • Number of miles: 235,007
  • Average ride: 1.14 miles, 15:43 minutes
  • 75,106 unique riders

Areas with greatest use:

  • Downtown: 72% of all trips, 150,350 total trips, average 272 scooters per day
  • Midtown: total trips 34,052, average 63 times per day
  • Aksarben: total trips 20,031, 59 per day
  • Benson: 7,486 total trips, 20 per day