Tallahassee weighs in on e-scooter pilot after several days

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By: Katie Kaplan | WCTV Eyewitness News
July 17, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The E-Scooter Pilot Program is still in its infancy in Tallahassee, but only three days in it has been creating a lot of chatter around town. Most people said they were enjoying them, but safety and aesthetics are some underlying concerns that came up in conversation again and again.

"So far, so good," said Robert Hunter. "I haven't tripped on any yet. Hopefully it stays that way."

The scooters are hard to miss as the trend has taken over the sidewalks of College Town, downtown and Cascades Park. Many are drawn to them as an environmentally friendly mode of transportation that is convenient for short travel. They are fast (speeds of up to 15 miles per hour), convenient (picked up and dropped off almost anywhere except for designated zones) and cheap (roughly 10-15 cents per minute).

"Now people can go outside the restaurants and ride around and see what Tallahassee has to offer," said Alon Dorfman.

However, in addition to the accolades, the scooters are also raising some concerns, with collections of discarded vessels piling up on the sidewalks and riders not required to wear helmets.

"I do think it's an eyesore," regular rider Michael Magyar told WCTV's Katie Kaplan. "Emergency room visits are going to be a thing because I did have some close calls."

"It does make the city look a little bad, I don't want to say trashy, but it is not the greatest site to see just a bunch of scooters on the sidewalk where people are walking," added Mark Nemat.

There are five micro-mobility companies in the test program allotting for roughly 1,000 scooters, said the City of Tallahassee's Website.

Andrew Miles, the Southeast regional manager for VeoRide, said his company has taken measures to make sure the scooters are closely monitored via GPS tracking. That includes a crew that works through the night to collect them and bring them back to designated staging areas.

"They come in around 3 a.m. and work from 7 to 7:30 collecting them and swapping batteries at the same time and making it look nice and pretty for everyone when they come back in the morning," Miles said.

In order to end a pay-session, VeoRide also requires that riders prove the scooter is parked appropriate by submitting a photo through their app.

The pilot program will run through September 15.