Although Lime is no longer offering dockless scooters in the downtown Kansas City area, two more scooter companies are slated to deploy their scooters in KC this summer, adding to the fleet of Bird scooters already in use. As part of a “one-year pilot program to study shared active transportation,” city officials announced this week that Spin, RideKC Scooter and Bird will bring their scooters to the corridor that runs from the Country Club Plaza to River Market. Notably, RideKC Bike, an off-shoot of RideKC Scooter, will continue to offer e-bikes in the pilot program, as it has done since late last fall.
The first dockless scooter program to launch in KC was Bird, which was later pit against Lime for citizens scooter-riding needs. However, Lime withdrew all of its scooters at the end of 2018, saying that it would relaunch in the spring. However, Lime is not part of the new pilot program.
After the influx of scooters from Bird and Lime, KC officials came to an operating agreement with the companies, capping out the total number of scooters for each operator at 500 and also requiring a $500 fee for each scooter along with $1 per day for each scooter the companies had on the street.
Over the winter, the city asked the scooter companies to each submit a Request for Proposal (RFP) for participation in its planned pilot. The city plans to use this interim pilot program to gauge whether or not it should “go all-in for scooters by changing street and transportation regulations to accommodate them.” Participants in the pilot program will pay $15,000 for an annual permit along with a $250 application fee. They will also pay $1 per day per scooter, while e-bike companies will be charged $50 per year for each bike.
Love them or hate them, one thing’s for sure. Wherever dockless scooters crop up around the country, controversy is set to ensue. Some call them “accidents waiting to happen,” citing the dangers faced by others on the street who are subjected to being hurt when scooter drivers run into them or leave the scooters lying on the sidewalk after use. Riders are often ill-trained to operate these scooters and ride without helmets, posing grave risks of injury in the event of a collision with a vehicle or object. In addition, riders may not know or obey traffic laws, increasing the overall likelihood of injury. Accidents to both riders and pedestrians are fairly commonplace and likely poised to increase as the number of scooters on the streets increases.
At Mayer & Rosenberg, P.C., we understand how frustrating it can be to be injured by a scooter rider; we also know that injuries sustained while riding a scooter can be equally as damaging. If you have been involved in a dockless scooter accident, contact our Kansas City bird scooter accident lawyer at 816-941-8949 now to schedule a free case review.