In bid for more accessibility, Portland OKs 725 electric scooters with seats

One of the 500 new Razor scooters to hit Portland streets.
(Photo: Bryn Dearborn)

The City of Portland has granted a permit for a new type of electric vehicle: a scooter with a seat.

According to a Bureau of Transportation statement, two companies — Razor and Shared — have been granted permits as part of the City’s e-scooter pilot program. Between them 725 of these scooters have the right to be deployed on Portland streets as of today.

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“We prioritized accessibility in this second Shared Electric Scooter Pilot Program, and I am pleased to say that both Razor and Shared delivered with these seated e-scooters,” said Transportation Commissioner Chloe Eudaly. “There is still a significant amount of work to be done to achieve equity in transportation, but the addition of seated e-scooters to our local fleet opens up this mode of transport to many more Portlanders.”

PBOT says this move comes in response to feedback from the community that many people didn’t feel comfortable or weren’t able to use the more traditional, stand-up scooters. These new scooters not only have a place to sit, they also have larger and wider tires — which means they’ll also appeal to people who are concerned about hitting potholes/bumps or just tipping over on the existing scooters.

Combined with what’s already on the streets, these new offerings from Razor and Shared bring the total number of permitted scooters to 1,975.

According to Razor’s website, their sit-down scooters have a thumb throttle, rear disc brake, and front and rear lights.

Like the stand-up scooters, these new sit-down versions will be allowed in what we typically refer to as bicycle lanes.

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

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Serenity
Serenity
3 years ago

That’s pretty cool, but it still doesn’t look like I could balance on it.

Mark smith
Mark smith
3 years ago

Serenity
That’s pretty cool, but it still doesn’t look like I could balance on it.Recommended 0

If you can ride a bike, you can ride one of these. I have. They are actually better than a stupid scooter. Jump bikes by comparison are tanks. These are fun and you can carry a kid passenger.

Liz
Liz
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark smith

Not everyone *does* ride bikes that transports themselves outside of an auto, hence Serenity’s comment.

Liz
Liz
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark smith

The snark in some of these comments is such a bummer to see from this community and fans a slow burning righteous anger I have over disability rights.

It’s like when discussing scooters, folks instantly forget what it’s like to have a hurt back or other injury, to be born with a mobility impairment, to be out of shape, or to have a fear of riding un-assisted in traffic. I took my first e-scooter trip last month, when my cat was dying and I needed something to make me smile after injuring myself. And you know what, they aren’t powerful enough to get me all the way home (up hills with cargo) and therefore aren’t really on my radar for my own personal purchase, but holy f y’all! I am so thankful that these options are arriving that truly alter how people view, participate in and problem solve transportation issues.

Why are people so scared of a change in transportation technology? Why is it so hard to hold multiple truths the same thing (IE that e-scooters still need development and law changes yet also, at the same time, are getting people OUT of cars and onto their streets!?)

I have had many if not all of the same gripes, questions and complaints about e-bikes and quite frankly started off my research on them with a lot of judgements. Please remember the next time you see some asshat riding down the sidewalk on an e-scooter, that that asshat would still find a way to be an asshat with or without the scooter and that that asshat’s actions do not negate the usefulness of new options.

So after that first scooter experience, a month later,I’m back commuting by bike and super grateful I had access to a stepping stone back to cycling and comforted by the fact that if I mess up my back again or am crippled by depression, I don’t have to stay stuck in a car while I sort out my health.

/thanks for coming to my ted talk

Hello, Kitty
Hello, Kitty
3 years ago

Kawaii!!!!!

Fat Tire
Fat Tire
3 years ago

At what point does an electric scooter become an electric motorcycle?

Chris I
Chris I
3 years ago
Reply to  Fat Tire

Don’t people typically refer to Vespas and other small motorcycles as “scooters”?

raktajino
raktajino
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris I

and “bike” can refer to motorcycles as well as bicycles. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Oregon DOT draws the line between moped and motorcycle at 30 mph and the need to shift (at least, I think that’s what the motorcycle guide is saying). The throttle part seems like it’s getting close to the line…

2Na
2Na
3 years ago
Reply to  raktajino

Not entirely accurate. Class I, II, III ebike rules apply to the scoots too. To over-simplify:
20mph, 1000w electric limit for Oregon (we don’t seem to draw a legal distinction between pedelec and throttle-activated). Which is hovering around a whopping 1 hp.
Anything that crosses that threshhold is a Class IV, i.e. a Motorized Vehicle just like gas powered scooters and motorcycles, and comes with all the fun things that implies, such as DMV registration, insurance, endorsement, DOT Helmet, plate & tags, Multnomah’s super fun additional Motorcycle registration fee, can’t be used on a bike way, gotta pay for parking or be executed by the Commissars, yadda yadda

2Na
2Na
3 years ago
Reply to  raktajino

I just tried one yesterday for the lulz, and so did my 66 year old mom. The increased wheel diameter and geometry made the ride way more stable than the other scoots. So long as they don’t go insane and crowd every street corner with dozens of them, they should be a decent improvement with better safety factors (and utility, thanks cargo rack!) that we could make peace with

Serenity
Serenity
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris I

They also refer to mobility scooters as as scoters. There are lots of different things called scooters. Whats your point?

ed
ed
3 years ago

Ok I’m supportive of these additions to the transport mix, truly. But with this size… at some point aren’t you’re thinking – hey; just ride a bike 😉 I get it though. They’re getting pretty big to leave randomly scattered about after use, unlike bike share.

X
X
3 years ago
Reply to  ed

This is a good point. What are we using our streetscape for? We have a bikeshare program, or business, which has dedicated parking reserved from other uses, but now orange bikes are free to park in the limited number of open public racks. We have privately owned rental scooters with no investment in parking which are left almost at random on the streets. It seems the operators have no idea they aren’t supposed to stage their equipment in or on bike racks. The first power scooter I saw on the street was nestled into a bike rack in a T formation with the basket under the crossbar of the rack. WTF thinks that is a good idea?

I’m starting to empathize with songbirds that find a big new baby bird in their nest, always hungry.

Serenity
Serenity
3 years ago

Mark smith

Serenity That’s pretty cool, but it still doesn’t look like I could balance on it.Recommended 0

If you can ride a bike, you can ride one of these. I have. They are actually better than a stupid scooter. Jump bikes by comparison are tanks. These are fun and you can carry a kid passenger.Recommended 0

Read that again: *If you can ride a bike* Which takes balance.

mark smith
mark smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Serenity

So…you are a person who is on bike portland who can’t ride a bike..or is staking out a position for someone else…or just wanna be special? What is it? I need to know which victim camp get in.

PDXCyclist
PDXCyclist
3 years ago
Reply to  mark smith

Mark Smith: This is one of the few comment boards I read because people are respectful. Please be respectful instead of jumping to the conclusions you did. Or ask a clarifying question in good faith.

Maybe in the mean time take some time away from commenting on BikePortland if you’re going to be abrasive and caustic, and acting in bad faith. You can do that on Reddit, OLive comment board, or Twitter.

https://bikeportland.org/2018/12/13/disability-rights-activists-to-trimet-let-us-take-trikes-on-max-293169

Serenity
Serenity
3 years ago
Reply to  mark smith

mark smith
So…you are a person who is on bike portland who can’t ride a bike..or is staking out a position for someone else…or just wanna be special? What is it? I need to know which victim camp get in.Recommended 6

There are lots of cyclists in Portland who can’t ride bikes. There are also lots of cycle bro’s who like to be shitty about it.

Serenity
Serenity
3 years ago
Reply to  mark smith

mark smith

PDXCyclist Mark Smith: This is one of the few comment boards I read because people are respectful. Please be respectful instead of jumping to the conclusions you did. Or ask a clarifying question in good faith.Maybe in the mean time take some time away from commenting on BikePortland if you’re going to be abrasive and caustic, and acting in bad faith. You can do that on Reddit, OLive comment board, or Twitter.https://bikeportland.org/2018/12/13/disability-rights-activists-to-trimet-let-us-take-trikes-on-max-293169Recommended 2

You know what the best part of bike portland is…people call it like it is.Recommended 4

So you’re “calling it like it is?”

Serenity
Serenity
3 years ago
Reply to  mark smith

I’m guessing mark smith is one of those people I sometimes run into who doesn’t know what “accessibility,” or “mobility device” even mean.

mark smith
mark smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Serenity

J_R
How about adding extra wheels for stability and safety and maybe some protection from weather?Recommended 0

What? If you want one like that bad enough, buy one? It’s for the masses, not the one.

Schrauf
Schrauf
3 years ago

Fat Tire
At what point does an electric scooter become an electric motorcycle?Recommended 2

A scooter becomes a moped when greater than 1000 watts or not limited to 24 mph – https://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/Forms/DMV/6619.pdf

Christopher of Portland
Christopher of Portland
3 years ago

The stand-up scooters make my knees hurt if I ride for too long on the bumpy roads that are typical of Portland. I might try these out if the price is right.

Jim Lee
Jim Lee
3 years ago

Next up: Segways with seats!

J_R
J_R
3 years ago

How about adding extra wheels for stability and safety and maybe some protection from weather?

Toby Keith
Toby Keith
3 years ago
Reply to  J_R

Maybe an extra seat for a friend, a heater for cold days, and a radio.

Hello, Kitty
Hello, Kitty
3 years ago
Reply to  Toby Keith

I’d add a frame to make it more crash-worthy, and maybe some airbags.

hotrodder
hotrodder
3 years ago
Reply to  Hello, Kitty

And maybe a windshield, a few more horsepower and brake lights. And headlights.

Toby Keith
Toby Keith
3 years ago
Reply to  hotrodder

Hey ya know I think we are on to something here!

Jered
Jered
3 years ago
Reply to  Toby Keith

cupholders I need a scooter with a cupholder and a place to put my cell phone so I can see it and charge it…

Stephen Keller
Stephen Keller
3 years ago
Reply to  Jered

I know this fork in the comments is all in humor, but the jest essentially describes the early history of the automobiIe. It’s true, most used the ICE as their power souce (there were some steam and electric alternatives). Pretty much all early motor vehicles were informed by bicycle and wagon design-build principles. I suppose what I’m saying is that we got into our current sorry state logically and with mostly good intentions. It is going to take some out-of-the-box thinking to develop and adopt a saner approach to transportation.

Stph

Toby Keith
Toby Keith
3 years ago
Reply to  Jered

Stephen, in this insane world my bike is probably the most sane thing there is!

AndyK
3 years ago
Reply to  Toby Keith

Add all those things plus a trunk and glove box.

Serenity
Serenity
3 years ago

mark smith
So…you are a person who is on bike portland who can’t ride a bike..or is staking out a position for someone else…or just wanna be special? What is it? I need to know which victim camp get in.Recommended 0

There are plenty of cyclists in Portland who can’t ride bikes, just like there are plenty of cycle bros who like to be shitty and ableist about it.

mark smith
mark smith
3 years ago

PDXCyclist
Mark Smith: This is one of the few comment boards I read because people are respectful. Please be respectful instead of jumping to the conclusions you did. Or ask a clarifying question in good faith.Maybe in the mean time take some time away from commenting on BikePortland if you’re going to be abrasive and caustic, and acting in bad faith. You can do that on Reddit, OLive comment board, or Twitter.https://bikeportland.org/2018/12/13/disability-rights-activists-to-trimet-let-us-take-trikes-on-max-293169Recommended 2

You know what the best part of bike portland is…people call it like it is.

Mike Quigley
Mike Quigley
3 years ago
Reply to  mark smith

They do? I’ve noticed that when people call it like it is their posts all of a sudden disappear from the forum. As this one most likely will.

Serenity
Serenity
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Quigley

Mike Quigley
They do? I’ve noticed that when people call it like it is their posts all of a sudden disappear from the forum. As this one most likely will.Recommended 0

This “Calling it like it is” doesn’t have to involve being shitty the way he thinks it does.

Kittens
Kittens
3 years ago

Sigh. Is this what passes for virtue signaling these days?

9watts
3 years ago

Is the expected product life of these longer than the four months we’ve understood for the ones already standing at attention in short rows on our sidewalks in the morning?

Speaking of standing at attention, the other evening I was on Division, and saw a Ford F150 pulling a flimsy Harbor Freight trailer with a few of them tossed in: Juicers with V8s. I look forward to the lifecycle assessment that parameterizes the energy inouts for the average 1.2mi trip.

X
X
3 years ago
Reply to  9watts

There you go again, paying attention to details. ;

These days a business plan doesn’t have to really pencil out with respect to time, money, or energy if it sucks up a lot of data and especially if it runs on the poorly compensated time of gig workers. People using their personal motor vehicles to juice scooters see a bump in their income but they often don’t reckon the operating cost. For example, a 12 year old motor vehicle used for transport work is going to have maintenance requirements and breakdowns much more often than most people would expect.

In the denser parts of Portland we now have at least three fairly new categories of motor vehicle traffic: gig workers providing personal transportation, food delivery, and now scooter support. The drivers aren’t as disruptive as they were a year ago because there aren’t as many outright rookies but they still tend to cruise, dash and then stop in a traffic lane in a manner that is annoying at best.

If we’re going to have scooters I’d like to see at least some drop-off areas incorporating chargers that would reduce the clutter on sidewalks and also the extra support vehicle traffic.

Racer X
Racer X
3 years ago
Reply to  9watts

Yes – the “dirty little secret” of micro shared mobility…the act of structured fleet rebalancing and the emissions and energy it takes vs. the green primary mode utilization. That is until our industry can gamify the public users rebalancing the system…

Todd Boulanger
Todd Boulanger
3 years ago
Reply to  9watts

So has anyone actually used one yet?
I need a full report!!!! SVP. 😉

Hello, Kitty
Hello, Kitty
3 years ago
Reply to  Todd Boulanger

I saw two people riding up Division Street on them this weekend.

Dwaine Dibbly
Dwaine Dibbly
3 years ago

These will be way better for scooter jousting season! The lower center of gravity will make them much more stable. Plus, the basket will let you carry lots more water balloons! Plus: Zoobomb!!

Mark smith
Mark smith
3 years ago

These scooters are 10x better than the toys put on the street cutely named bird and lime and what not. They can run for a long time and hold a passenger or your junk. Honestly, wouldnt mind buying one. The other part is, you sit lower than walkers. So…I think you end up showing more respect.

Stephen Keller
Stephen Keller
3 years ago

Toby Keith
Stephen, in this insane world my bike is probably the most sane thing there is!

Agreed, the bicycle will be part of a sane response to the current situation.

KTaylor
KTaylor
3 years ago

This is another one of those things I’d be more excited about if it was actually going to displace cars. How many more modes can we pile into bike lanes and sidewalks?

Mark smith
Mark smith
3 years ago

KTaylor
This is another one of those things I’d be more excited about if it was actually going to displace cars. How many more modes can we pile into bike lanes and sidewalks?Recommended 1

Well, when bike Lanes and sidewalks actually fill up, we will just take the empty car lanes.