ROCHESTER, Minn. - Rochester's City Council is taking a look at the city's transportation options as we kick off a new year.
At Monday afternoon's study session, council discussed the city's variety of micromobility options, or ways to get around downtown without a vehicle.
These options include bike and scooter sharing, both introduced in the last few years.
Nice Ride brought bike rentals to the Med City in 2016, and the program has been managed by the city for the last two years.
Between May and October of last year, over 1,200 trips were taken using the shareable bikes.
Now the city is looking to take the program one step further, creating a program to donate bikes to individuals and organizations in Olmsted County, starting as early as this Spring.
Grant guidelines will have to be finalized before that can happen.
From August to November of 2019, people were able to rent Lime Scooters as part of a pilot program in the city.
At today's study sessiong, council discussed the idea of bringing scooters back to Rochester, but some changes would have to be made to do that.
For example, proposed ordinance changes include establishing hours of operation, prohibiting the use of cell phones while travelling on a scooter, and any company wishing to operate in the Med City, including Lime, would have to run educational campaigns about safety.
Council discussed another micromobility option that launched just last month: Hour Car.
The program launched on December 9th and currently provides five cars in Rochester.
Staff says it's been a slow start for Hour Car, but that's likely due to the holiday season.
New signage will be placed to make sure people know the car sharing program is available for the next year.