SeattleElectric Scooter Sharing Coming to Seattle

In a guest post published on GeekWire, Seattle’s Mayor Jenny Durkan announced the city will be working toward allowing electric scooter rentals to operate within the city.1 Currently, Seattle electric scooter laws are harsh – scooter shares are banned and motorized foot scooters are not allowed on sidewalks and bicycle lanes. Durkan’s administration aims to change that by rolling out a pilot program.

With the creation of this pilot program, Durkan hopes to gradually introduce scooter shares into the city while ensuring strict requirements on parking, speed, safety, and other issues many other cities have run into concerning their fleets of electrical scooter rentals.

We can get this right. We will focus on four non-negotiable principles: safety, fairness to riders, protection of taxpayers through full indemnification, and equity. While some companies may see these requirements as too restrictive, they are too important not to fight for. – Jenny Durkan, Mayor of Seattle1

This Shift in Seattle Electric Scooter Laws is a Long Time Coming

 

We invest in high-capacity transit – buses and light rail.  We have invested in density and better transit. We’ve also taken other steps to reduce our reliance on cars like free transit passes for high school students, so more people are taking transit, biking, and walking. – Jenny Durkan, Mayor of Seattle1

One of the first cities to fully embrace dockless bike shares, it is a little strange that Seattle is one of the last major cities in the U.S. to hold out on the incredibly popular trend of electric scooter rentals.2 Fortunately, with Durkan’s announcement, that will change soon as Seattle electric scooter laws become more friendly to scooter sharing companies and apps.

While the proposed pilot program will start rolling out in May and June, the city won’t be accepting permit applications until September or October with approval likely to be given at the start of 2020. So, you won’t be able to take Seattle electrical scooter rentals out for a spin until January 1st next year.

Regardless, the Mayors announcement is a step in the right direction towards giving residents and visitors access to a greater variety of convenient public transportation options. With the city gradually rolling out Seattle scooter shares all while focusing on safety, fairness, and equity – Seattle may soon have one of the best e-scooter share programs in the nation.

 

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Sources

  1. Jenny Durkan, GeekWire – Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan: Let’s try scooters, but let’s do it right
  2. David Gutman, The Seattle Times – Seattle embraced dockless bike shares, but bans scooter ones. How come?
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