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

Posted by on June 14th, 2019 at 12:11 pm

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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47 Comments
  • Avatar
    Serenity June 14, 2019 at 12:21 pm

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

    Recommended Thumb up 1

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    Mark smith June 14, 2019 at 1:16 pm

    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 Thumb up 1

    • Avatar
      Liz June 20, 2019 at 4:47 pm

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

      Recommended Thumb up 2

    • Avatar
      Liz June 20, 2019 at 5:02 pm

      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

      Recommended Thumb up 3

  • Hello, Kitty
    Hello, Kitty June 14, 2019 at 1:25 pm

    Kawaii!!!!!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

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    Fat Tire June 14, 2019 at 1:38 pm

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

    Recommended Thumb up 8

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      Chris I June 14, 2019 at 1:56 pm

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

      Recommended Thumb up 5

      • Avatar
        raktajino June 14, 2019 at 2:48 pm

        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…

        Recommended Thumb up 2

        • Avatar
          2Na June 24, 2019 at 11:32 am

          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

          Recommended Thumb up 0

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          2Na June 24, 2019 at 11:49 am

          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

          Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Serenity June 15, 2019 at 11:06 am

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

        Recommended Thumb up 2

  • Avatar
    ed June 14, 2019 at 2:19 pm

    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.

    Recommended Thumb up 4

    • Avatar
      X June 15, 2019 at 10:13 am

      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.

      Recommended Thumb up 3

  • Avatar
    Serenity June 14, 2019 at 2:40 pm

    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.

    Recommended Thumb up 4

    • Avatar
      mark smith June 14, 2019 at 4:29 pm

      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 Thumb up 9

      • Avatar
        PDXCyclist June 14, 2019 at 6:44 pm

        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

        Recommended Thumb up 17

      • Avatar
        Serenity June 15, 2019 at 11:12 am

        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.

        Recommended Thumb up 13

      • Avatar
        Serenity June 15, 2019 at 11:16 am

        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?”

        Recommended Thumb up 6

      • Avatar
        Serenity June 15, 2019 at 11:54 am

        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.

        Recommended Thumb up 8

    • Avatar
      mark smith June 14, 2019 at 4:31 pm

      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.

      Recommended Thumb up 8

  • Avatar
    Schrauf June 14, 2019 at 2:51 pm

    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

    Recommended Thumb up 5

  • Avatar
    Christopher of Portland June 14, 2019 at 3:35 pm

    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.

    Recommended Thumb up 3

  • Avatar
    Jim Lee June 14, 2019 at 3:55 pm

    Next up: Segways with seats!

    Recommended Thumb up 2

  • Avatar
    J_R June 14, 2019 at 4:05 pm

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

    Recommended Thumb up 2

    • Avatar
      Toby Keith June 14, 2019 at 4:42 pm

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

      Recommended Thumb up 7

      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty June 14, 2019 at 5:02 pm

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

        Recommended Thumb up 7

        • Avatar
          hotrodder June 14, 2019 at 5:07 pm

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

          Recommended Thumb up 6

          • Avatar
            Toby Keith June 14, 2019 at 6:24 pm

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

            Recommended Thumb up 3

            • Avatar
              Jered June 14, 2019 at 11:23 pm

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

              Recommended Thumb up 6

              • Avatar
                Stephen Keller June 15, 2019 at 8:32 pm

                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

                Recommended Thumb up 7

              • Avatar
                Toby Keith June 15, 2019 at 10:46 pm

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

                Recommended Thumb up 5

      • Avatar
        AndyK June 15, 2019 at 6:42 am

        Add all those things plus a trunk and glove box.

        Recommended Thumb up 5

  • Avatar
    Serenity June 14, 2019 at 5:03 pm

    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.

    Recommended Thumb up 4

  • Avatar
    mark smith June 14, 2019 at 9:03 pm

    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 Thumb up 7

    • Avatar
      Mike Quigley June 16, 2019 at 7:03 am

      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 Thumb up 2

      • Avatar
        Serenity June 16, 2019 at 6:15 pm

        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.

        Recommended Thumb up 4

  • Avatar
    Kittens June 15, 2019 at 3:48 am

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

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    9watts June 16, 2019 at 9:00 am

    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.

    Recommended Thumb up 10

    • Avatar
      X June 16, 2019 at 1:16 pm

      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.

      Recommended Thumb up 5

    • Avatar
      Racer X June 17, 2019 at 5:59 pm

      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…

      Recommended Thumb up 1

    • Avatar
      Todd Boulanger June 17, 2019 at 6:00 pm

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

      Recommended Thumb up 1

      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty June 17, 2019 at 6:20 pm

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

        Recommended Thumb up 0

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    Dwaine Dibbly June 17, 2019 at 8:36 am

    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!!

    Recommended Thumb up 3

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    Mark smith June 17, 2019 at 5:15 pm

    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.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

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    Stephen Keller June 17, 2019 at 6:10 pm

    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.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

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    KTaylor June 19, 2019 at 12:28 pm

    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 Thumb up 2

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    Mark smith June 19, 2019 at 4:50 pm

    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.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

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