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Electric scooters could be coming to Rochester

Company seeking pilot program approval from the City Council.

Posted: Jul 18, 2019 2:40 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. – A pilot program could soon see electric scooters on the move through Rochester.

The City Council will be asked Tuesday to support the use of Lime scooters from August 1 through November 30. The idea of using the scooters for shorter downtown trips is part of the Destination Medical Center Integrated Transit strategy.

“This pilot reflects the City’s commitment to continue to explore transportation alternatives that help provide a wide selection of options for our community,” says Deputy City Administrator Aaron Parrish. “We hope to utilize this opportunity with Lime to better understand the use of scooters and how it would work best in our community.”

Lime, the electric scooter company, would use the pilot program to gather data on where and when people would use their vehicles in Rochester. It would also allow the City to require Lime to decrease the number of scooters at any time and gives the City and its partners access to a dashboard that includes ridership data.

“Scooters, like walking or biking, will assist our community in reaching its sustainability goals while providing another affordable and equitable transportation option. The pilot will allow Rochester to consider the longer term implementation of such a solution and how it might complement other mobility options,” shares Kevin Bright, DMC Director of Energy and Sustainability.

City officials say scooters are treated like a bicycle and must travel in a bike lane or traffic lane and are not allowed to be operated on sidewalks. The scooters would be checked out through a variety of means and are expected to be parked on the sidewalks out of the path of travel when not in use. Every scooter will be labeled with an email and phone number, and Lime will have local representatives available to respond to inquiries.

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