Support BikePortland - Journalism that Matters

PBOT opens e-scooter applications, pilot program to start this month

Posted by on July 5th, 2018 at 9:55 am

(Image: PBOT)


The City of Portland just opened its application process for a four-month Shared Electric Scooter Pilot Program.

PBOT says the total number of e-scooters allowed in the city will be capped at 2,500 and there will be a requirement that companies deploy 20 percent of the fleet in east Portland (as defined here). Top speed will be limited to 15 mph.

Here’s more from the announcement:

Throughout the Pilot Program, Shared Scooter companies will be expected to report on and mitigate impacts in several areas of concern. These include (but are not limited to): Safety and access for people walking, safety and access for people with disabilities and compliance with state law (including helmet requirements and the prohibition on sidewalk riding).

Through public engagement and program evaluation, City officials will determine whether and under what circumstances electric scooter sharing may be permitted to continue operating in the public right-of-way after the Pilot Program has ended. The bureau will use anonymized trip data analysis, user surveys, and intercept surveys to understand the potential benefits and burdens of e-scooter operations in Portland in relation to the City’s equity, mobility, and climate action goals.

Advertisement

scooter-share-application

During the pilot, PBOT will gather data from surveys, focus groups, a complaint hotline and more. They’ll be trying to assess whether the micro-mobility devices reduce auto use and congestion, improve street safety, expand mobility options for underserved communities and reduce air pollution.

Graphic from Lime’s app, showing where to ride scooters.

It will cost each company $250 to apply and $2,500 for the permit if they’re selected. PBOT will also charge a 25-cent per-trip surcharge. The scooters will hit the streets July 23rd and the pilot program will end on November 20th.

The scooters are illegal to use on sidewalks and they’ll be a new presence in Portland bike lanes. The devices will be dockless, meaning users won’t have to park them in specific spots.

In the 36-page application packet, PBOT clarifies to potential operators that as per Portland City Code section 17.44.010 A: “It is unlawful for any person to obstruct or cause to be obstructed any roadway, curb or sidewalk by leaving or placing, any object, material or article which may prevent free passage over any part of such street or sidewalk area.” There’s also this daunting list of where scooters cannot be parked:

In order to earn a permit, PBOT is requiring operators to notify users that helmets are mandatory.

Learn more on PBOT’s website.

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

Never miss a story. Sign-up for the daily BP Headlines email.

BikePortland needs your support.

NOTE: Thanks for sharing and reading our comments. To ensure this is a welcoming and productive space, all comments are manually approved by staff. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for meanness, discrimination or harassment. Comments with expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia will be deleted and authors will be banned.

52
Leave a Reply

avatar
21 Comment threads
31 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
27 Comment authors
Mark smithBjorn WarloeAlex ReedinEl Biciclero9watts Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Jim Lee
Guest
Jim Lee

What is “anonymizing” in fact?

mh
Subscriber

To whom do we report sidewalk riding and the inevitable parking infractions? Different offices, I assume.

X
Guest
X

Shared scooters are not to be parked within 5 feet of a crosswalk or curb cut? This reminds me of something, something, can’t think of it. Dang. Never get old!

If parking compliance failure means a thing can be banished from the city where are cars?

Branden Shelby
Guest
Branden Shelby

I guess the parking spots will be a geographical oddity, 5 feet from anywhere.

Alex Reedin
Guest
Alex Reedin

As I expected, the City has prohibited the most logical and equitable place for scooters to be parked: in space currently used for motor vehicle parking. (I looked in the application, and scooters must be parked in the “sidewalk corridor.”)

This strikes me as a completely ridiculous decision that is likely to stoke resentment of the scooters due to them blocking the sidewalk. “Scooter corrals” replacing car parking that have little curb things to keep people from driving in them (like the bike corrals do) seem like the best possible solution. Against the rules. Everyone not in cars needs to fight for scraps of space… Again.

X
Guest
X

The parking rules seem so complex as to be unenforceable. Maybe they should require every cannabis dispensary to provide scooter parking. 😉

J_R
Guest
J_R

It appears that there will be very few places where scooters can be legally parked. I hope PBOT develops a phone app we can use to report illegally and dangerously parked scooters. I hope it’s much better than the illegal parking phone line.

Johnny Bye Carter
Subscriber
Johnny Bye Carter

It’s also illegal to ride these in a crosswalk. So if you’re on a bike path that crosses a road you’ll need to dismount.

9watts
Subscriber

While the trend toward mobility solutions that rely on fleets of electric/electronic/internet-connected wheeled objects owned by private companies, summoned via smart phones is in full swing, fashionable, sexy, makes us feel cutting edge, is it conceivable that net reductions in our transportation footprint from these efforts will be negligible? That they aren’t in fact providing anything like a meaningful climate benefit?

I worry that in our breathless and wishful embrace of whatever the newest gadget is we are not asking some important questions. It isn’t as if we hadn’t been disappointed before.

CAFE standards didn’t reduce total per capita fuel consumption;
Curbside recycling hasn’t corresponded with declines in per capita municipal solid waste;
Energy efficiency hasn’t, by and large, yielded declines in per capita energy consumption.

We predictably refuse to design policies that tackle the actual problem (too much), but deploy strategies that identify and then seek to tackle a second order phenomenon (energy efficiency, lbs recycled, mpg). As such we may (and sometimes do) win the second order battle, while losing the first order war. Notwithstanding narrowly measured successes, our ecological footprints keep getting bigger, population keeps going up, and the problems all of these strategies were ostensibly meant to reduce continue to get worse. What we need are absolute reductions in–no let me restate that: we need a complete cessation of–fossil fuel use, not some fiddling around with fleets of sexy gadgets.

Jim Lee
Guest
Jim Lee

Walking is healthful!

Tom
Guest
Tom

ORS 811.550 limits vehical parking within 20 feet of most intersections. For scooters its 5. That leaves a 15 foot space at many intersections where scooters could be parked in street parking. This would be better than parking on the sidewalk and would daylight intersections.

Peter W
Guest
Peter W

Wow, did anyone check out the data the city looks to collect as a requirement? This is great:

* Trip origin/destination lat/lon
* Trip route
* Trip maximum and average speeds

Note that:

“The data collected by the City will be, except as otherwise required by law or
aggregated, kept confidential by the City, used only within the.”

(Typo theirs. Perhaps a good balance between protecting privacy and getting necessary data for policy evaluation.)

Does the city require this data of TNCs (Lyft & Uber)? Imagine if we had that plus vehicle make/model/year – we could calculate climate impacts of these systems.

Peter W
Guest
Peter W

I might have missed it, but it seems there’s a large gap in this proposal:

“Limitations on Shared Scooter Parking.
1. Shared Scooters must be parked in the Sidewalk Corridor …”

I didn’t see any requirement that the scooters have kickstands or other mechanisms to stand upright. Seems like you’ll end up with these cluttering the sidewalk if there’s not easy way to park them.

SF has figured that out in their application permit:

“31. Shared Powered Scooters shall be parked standing upright and outside the path of travel in the furnishing zone. The SFMTA will provide detailed specifications to clarify existing City
regulations prohibiting obstruction of the right of way. The Permittee shall instruct
customers how to park a Powered Scooter properly.”

https://www.sfmta.com/sites/default/files/reports-and-documents/2018/05/powered_scooter_share_program_permit_application.pdf

Christopher of Portland
Guest
Christopher of Portland

For a while I was considering getting a folding scooter to speed up my bus commute at the time. I’d like to try out some kind of electric scooter share but I’m not interested in carrying my helmet around just in case I decide to ride a scooter. Will these things do 15 mph uphill on the Tilikum?

Jim Lee
Guest
Jim Lee

If you own and ride your personal bike the City can neither “aggregate” nor “annoymize” you.

The eBike Store
Guest

Helmets are required for electric scooters. I believe Oregon law is that helmets have to be provided at the time and place of rental. How are these laws going to be fulfilled?

Sam Churchill
Guest

Did Portland just exclude Kenton, Delta Park, PIR, Expo Center, Bridgetown, Hayden Island, Kelly Point Park and PDX? It appears as if the The City is more concerned about protecting their own Biketown revenue stream than providing universal service. As a Hayden Island resident with no car (and no local grocery store), I was looking forward to scooters. Now it looks like I’ll have to buy a car and add to the congestion.

Sam Churchill
Guest

Portland might use software like Replica to track anonymous trip data.

https://sidewalklabs.com/blog/introducing-replica-a-next-generation-urban-planning-tool/

BTW, a Bike-Share API is available that allows you to query over 65 dockless and docked bike-share systems across the country through a single API.

https://medium.com/coord/one-bike-two-bike-red-bike-blue-bike-84dc0ade6abe

But I was hoping for a “white box” solution where local bike stores (and individuals) could run neighborhood bike/scooter sharing systems. Owned and operated locally. Is that wishful thinking or is it a practical alternative.

I realize that billions of venture capital dollars are flowing into scooter sharing and Portland has a tricky situation. But I prefer more local and neighborhood control.

http://www.hayden-island.com/biking

Bjorn Warloe
Guest
Bjorn Warloe

I don’t understand why we would limit the number of scooters to only 2500. There are 1000 biketown bikes and the service area is much smaller. Can you imagine if they tried to cap the number of cars that were allowed to be inside the city limits? The only thing a cap will do is make the system less useful.

Mark smith
Guest
Mark smith

What about a surcharge per car? Say $10,000?