Jun 3, 2022 - News

Weekend scooter curfew stalls rides downtown

Illustration of an electric scooter with a "Sorry, we're closed" sign hanging from the handlebars.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Detroiters looking for a late night scooter ride downtown may now be out of luck.

Why it matters: A new weekend curfew restricts electric scooter access around downtown's central business district from Friday at 9pm to Saturday at 6am, then Saturday at 9pm to Sunday at 6am.

  • Curfew borders include I-75 to the north, John C. Lodge Freeway to the west, I-375 to the east and the riverfront to the south.

Driving the news: The shutdown, first reported by Outlier Media, is part of a comprehensive safety plan involving the city, DPD and scooter companies.

  • "Detroit's an economic hub and on the weekends get loads of traffic and pedestrian and vehicle traffic," Rudy Harper, Detroit 2nd deputy police chief, tells Axios.
  • "Scooters are dangerous — people do get hurt on them," says Harper.

Between the lines: DPD was unable to provide data related to the number of scooter accidents involving riders or other vehicles and pedestrians.

What they're saying: "Shared e-scooters are a critical, eco-friendly transportation alternative for many Detroit residents, including those who rely on the service to get around the Central Business District in the evening, essential workers, those who don't own a car and those who don't feel safe on public transit," Sam Cooper, manager of government partnerships at Bird, tells Axios.

  • Bird, one of several electric scooter companies operating in Detroit, is confident they will be able to work with the city to find an alternative to the curfew, Cooper says.
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