ORLANDO, Fla. – The City of Orlando has voted to extend its pilot program for electric scooters.
The pilot program had started prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The city’s goal is to have more accurate information collected between now and Jann 1, 2022, since government lockdowns likely impacted the information gathered so far.
“You get the app and download it and it’s fun, convenient. It gets you wherever you got to go,” a rider said in downtown Orlando on Monday evening.
“When you go to a big city this is kind of what you think of,” rider Nathan Bienemann said.
Commissioner Robert Stewart said there are as many as 90,000 scooter rides rented each month in the Orlando area.
Commissioner Regina Hill said that people in low-income communities rely on scooters.
“I’ve seen them even going to doctor’s appointments on these scooters,” Hill said. “This is a necessity. You want to start talking about going to get your medicines. Going to get groceries at a grocery store when you live in a food desert.”
A representative for the scooter company, Bird told the commission it is committed to safety and providing jobs to people in the Orlando area.
Commissioner Patty Sheehan said she’d like to end the scooter program, citing a need for safety improvements.
“Talk to our own staffer who is still undergoing issues because of the broken arm that he got when he tripped over a scooter in downtown Orlando,” Sheehan said.
Hall also said the city plans to identify which vendors should continue to operate and which ones have been negligent.