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PBOT has sent five companies letter of intent to join dockless e-scooter pilot

Posted by on June 1st, 2018 at 1:44 pm

Promotional image from Bird, one of the companies Portland is in contact with.
(Photo: @Bird on Instagram)

The Oregonian has just reported on a letter sent from PBOT Commissioner Dan Saltzman and Director Leah Treat that solidifies the City’s intention to allow private companies to test dockless e-scooters in Portland this summer.

“… Companies could be notified by in the next couple weeks with more information,” The Oregonian reporter Andrew Theen writes, “Portland sent the letter to Skip, Spin, LimeBike, Bird and Goat.”

Here’s the text of the letter (dated May 29th):

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is planning a four-month pilot for dockless electric scooters beginning this summer (the “Pilot Period”). The pilot will help the City of Portland determine whether dockless e-scooters can support the City’s equity, mobility, and climate action goals.

To operate a scooter share business as part of the pilot, private companies must apply for and receive a business license and a permit, and comply with the terms therein throughout the pilot period. PBOT will seek input broadly from the public during the pilot. At the end of the Pilot Period, City officials will determine whether and under what circumstances e-scooter sharing will be permitted to continue operating in the public right-of-way.

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Throughout the pilot, providers will be expected to report on and mitigate impacts in several areas of concern that either the City has, or that have arisen in other cities where e-scooter companies are operating. These include (but are not limited to):

• Pedestrian safety
• Safety and access for people with disabilities
• Compliance with state law (including helmet requirements and prohibition on sidewalk riding)
• Anonymized data about trip origin, destination and length

In addition to gathering data and public input relating to the issues identified above, at the end of the Pilot Period, PBOT will seek to understand the potential benefits and burdens in relation to the City’s equity goals. Development of the test pilot and permit process is underway.

Please respond to Steve Hoyt-McBeth at 503.823.7191; steve.hoyt-mcbeth@portlandoregon.gov if your company is interested in participating in the pilot. PBOT staff will contact you by mid-June with more information.

Finally, we remind all potential e-scooter operators that no shared e-scooters are allowed on City right-of-way in advance of or outside the permitted e-scooter pilot process. Failure to adhere to this restriction will result in confiscation of equipment and fines.

The City of Portland has a history of successful collaboration with private sector partners that offer new transportation options. We expect open, timely and honest communication from each company operating in this Pilot Period. Any company found to have violated the terms of the pilot rules may be precluded from further permitting, including prohibitions on other services your company may offer. We also seek to make this Pilot Period open and fair to all e-scooter providers. Therefore, any discovery or attempts by companies to impinge on others will be a violation of pilot rules. We look forward to a productive and informative e-scooter pilot process.

More details via The Oregonian.

If you’re curious about this whole scooter thing, read this article from The Atlantic that came out yesterday.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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Tom Hardy
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Tom Hardy

That does it! All transit malls downtown and Parkblocks MUST become carless! Otherwise there will be carnage.
Just Imagine 1000 scooters running around town with the riders busy texting and following their GPS!

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

Very curious how scooter traffic will work bikes as they are legally required to take bike lanes or streets (and wear helmets, but that’s a separate issue).

Presumably, a high percentage of the e-scooter share users will be casual users with less developed skills that might have difficulty in tight areas and on dodgy surfaces. But with top speeds that seem appropriate for riding near others and handling characteristics that reinforce predictable behavior, they might blend in reasonably well.

J_R
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J_R

Just what we need – a device capable of 15 mph (5x the speed of pedestrians) darting around on the sidewalks and in the city streets by people with virtually no training.

bikeninja
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bikeninja

If this country was run by a less-than-benevolent autocracy , this is exactly the scheme they would come up with to cull out the herd via accidents and tragic mishaps.

Jim Lee
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Jim Lee

Walking is healthful!

Patrick Thames
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I was just in San Diego witnessed 100’s of these electric Bird scooters all over the city and suburban areas. I was amazed how fast they moved and how reckless the users were. The biggest issue I saw with these scooters was abandonment… they were littered in every neighborhood.

Jim Lee
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Jim Lee

Down-market Segways

Andy K
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Andy K

I’m excited to these these hit the streets -you can never have enough active transportation options. The learning curve for users will be quite steep, however.

Chris
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Chris

Looks like fun!
Any 2 wheels are better than 4, right?

but being so small, they might easily vanish and be stripped for parts, i’m sure the batteries are not cheap.

Huey Lewis
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Huey Lewis

Last month I found some NOS Pogo-Balls that a closing Toys-R-Us had been sitting on, somehow, for yeeeears. When they arrive I’m dumping them in Lents and WE ARE GONNA FLIP THE SCRIPT ON THIS AUTOCENTRIC PARADIGM. NO STUPID FORM OF TRANSPORTATION WILL BE PASSED OVER IN 2018. #CALIFORNIASPLAYGROUND #MILLENIALLSYALL #TECHPROBLEMSOLVERZ #PAYME