May 23, 2023 - News

Electric scooters are coming back to Dallas

This was a common scene last time Dallas had rentable scooters. Photo: Tasha "Scoots McGoots" Tsiaperas/Axios

Scooters are back, back again.

Driving the news: Rentable electric scooters and e-bikes will be available in Dallas starting Wednesday.

  • Bird, Lime and Superpedestrian will operate the rental programs for scooters and e-bikes in the city, with an official launch on May 31.

Why it matters: It will be the first time scooters can be rented in Dallas since September 2020, when city officials made vendors take them off the streets because of safety issues, among other complaints.

State of play: The great scooter removal was supposed to be temporary. City leaders began discussing plans to return them last year.

  • Unlike the previous free-for-all, city leaders selected just three vendors to operate in Dallas and rent up to 500 scooters each.

Flashback: Before there were scooter problems, there were thousands of dockless bikes scattered throughout the city, abandoned in creeks and dumped on the side of the road.

  • In 2018, there were up to 20,000 e-bikes in Dallas, which is notoriously not bike friendly.

How it works: Scooters and e-bikes will be rentable from 5am-9pm. Riding is prohibited in parks and on trails.

  • There will be slow-ride zones in Deep Ellum, the West End and the Ronald Kirk Pedestrian Bridge. Speeds will be limited to 10 mph.
  • Riding scooters on sidewalks continues to be banned.

Of note: The city's non-emergency line, 311, has added a new category for scooter and e-bike problems.

Five yellow e-bikes thrown into a murky creek.
Dallas really didn't handle the abundance of e-bikes well in the past. Photo: Courtesy of Bradford Pearson

Meanwhile: Unlike Dallas, Fort Worth's bike sharing program uses docks, meaning riders can only return the bicycles to certain locations.

What we're watching: How long will it take before the first scooters from this new batch end up in the Trinity River?


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