If you live or work in downtown Phoenix, chances are you’re starting to see electric scooters pouring into the city. And if you haven’t yet, you will soon, because the city’s six-month pilot program for the use of e-scooters began on September 16.
The program includes geo-fence docking locations, boundary areas and no-ride zones, which will limit where riders can operate and park their rented scooters.
“We’re doing things differently in Phoenix than other cities have seen,” Ashley Patton, a spokeswoman for the Street Transportation Department, told the Arizona Republic.
The city hopes that by using geo-fencing and docking stations, it will avoid the experience that other cities have had with scooters winding up in bushes or scattered across sidewalks.
The e-scooters can only be used in downtown Phoenix, mostly between Seventh Avenue and Seventh Street, and there will be 400 docking locations in that area. Scooters can be ridden on the street or in bike lanes; riding on the sidewalk is prohibited.
Bird, Lime and Spin are the three e-scooter companies who obtained permits and will participate in the pilot program.
The program is meant to test to test the viability of e-scooters as a mode of transit and will be evaluated by Phoenix City Council after three months, and again after it ends.
The future of e-scooter use in the city will depend on ridership data collected by the Street Transportation Department, as well as public feedback.
The department will then provide a report to the City Council, which will determine the long-term fate of the program.