Jun 15, 2022 - News

Rentable scooters may return to Dallas streets

Green scooters

Scooters haven't been on Dallas streets since 2020. Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Brightly-colored rentable scooters once crowded the sidewalks of Dallas — before city leadership shut down all scooter operations in 2020.

Driving the news: The Dallas City Council will be briefed today on proposed new rules for the return of the scooter.

What happened: There were too many scooters operated by too many companies. And people were riding them dangerously.

  • Citing public safety concerns, the city made vendors take scooters off the streets in September 2020.
  • The pause was supposed to be temporary.

What they're saying: "We just didn’t regulate well enough the first go around," council member Omar Narvaez said in March.

The recommendations: City staff want to limit the number of vendors and scooters in the city, starting with just three operators deploying 500 scooters each. Other suggestions include:

  • Hiring a vendor to collect data from scooter companies on how much the devices are used. The city would then bill them monthly, 20 cents per trip.
  • Shutting off scooters between 9pm and 5am.
  • Creating no-ride and slow-ride zones. Slow-ride zones limit scooter speeds to 10mph and could be in Bishop Arts, Deep Ellum and the Farmers Market.

The intrigue: City staff said there weren't enough scooters in low-income neighborhoods.

  • Under the proposed rules, vendors can only have a quarter of their scooters in central Dallas, including downtown, Deep Ellum and Uptown, and 15% of the fleet should be in opportunity zones.

Of note: Riders were never allowed to use scooters on sidewalks, and city staff want to require vendors to display rules for riders when they create accounts.

What's next: City staff plan to incorporate suggestions from City Council and present any code changes at the June 22 meeting. If approved, scooters could be back on the street in October.


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