Yesterday, was the first opportunity City Council had to take action on scooters. We had a lively conversation and directed staff to come back in two weeks with a licensing agreement that would allow scooter companies to operate (or continue operating) in Raleigh.
Staff shared a proposed draft agreement for our review. While I support much of what was proposed, I have a few concerns including:
1) That we keep the hours of operation from 6 am to 10 pm.
2) We should allow scooters to be parked at bus stops and on streets with no sidewalks.
3) While riding on sidewalks in our urban core should be banned, riding on sidewalks where there is no bike infrastructure should be permitted. (Roads such as Six Forks between Wake Forest and North Hills).
4) We should lift the cap. There are currently 1,430 scooters operating in Raleigh. If we limit the number to 1,500 (500 per company) than there will be communities that no longer have access to this ride sharing technology.
5) We must be thinking about how we allow ALL people access. Scooter companies should provide a multi-language platform and not require a drivers license. We should also consider dropping the age limit to 16, as Durham has done.
If Raleigh is serious about our shared value of access to sustainable transit opportunities -- including mass transit, walking, and biking -- then we must embrace and create safe regulations for scooters as a non-car transportation option.