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(July 25, 2018) Today, the Portland Bureau of Transportation issued the first two permits to operate shared electric scooters in Portland. The permits were issued to the companies Skip and Bird. PBOT officials said they expected that scooters could be available for rent as soon as this week.
The permits were issued as part of PBOT's recently launched Shared Scooter Pilot Program. The 120 day pilot program runs until November 20th. Through the pilot program, PBOT created a temporary scooter permit to allow companies to offer scooters for rent. Both during and after the pilot, PBOT will conduct an evaluation of the program, including surveying Portlanders, to determine whether scooters are compatible with the safe, efficient and equitable operation of Portland's transportation system.
"I'm very happy we were able to stand up this pilot as quickly as we did," said Interim Transportation Director Chris Warner. 'This is a rapidly changing industry, and we wanted to be flexible and nimble in setting up this pilot. Portlanders will now have a chance to try this new way of getting around, and we'll have the opportunity to see if scooters work in Portland and help us meet our safety, mobility, equity and climate action goals."
The pilot program sets specific conditions for the deployment of scooters in the city. The total number of scooters will be capped at 2,500 with each permitted company allowed a share of this total. Companies may deploy up to 200 scooters during its first week of operation. To further citywide equity goals, PBOT requires that each company deploy a portion of their fleets in East Portland.
By state law, scooter riders must wear a helmet and cannot ride on sidewalks. According to the city code, the scooters cannot be used in city parks. Riders will be required to park scooters on the sidewalk close to the curb, so that scooters do not interfere with pedestrians. As a condition of receiving a permit, companies are required to educate riders about safe riding and proper parking behavior. PBOT will also conduct education actions to inform riders about the rules of the road.
PBOT will continue to issue permits to companies that qualify under the pilot rules.
More information about the scooter pilot, including an FAQ can be found at: www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/e-scooter
The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is the steward of the City’s transportation system, and a community partner in shaping a livable city. We plan, build, manage and maintain an effective and safe transportation system that provides access and mobility. Learn more at www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation.
About Shared Scooters
Shared Electric Scooters, also known as e-scooters, are an emerging technology and shared mobility service. The first systems in the U.S. launched in 2017. Similar to bikeshare, the service provides personal transportation to rent for one-way trips. To begin a rental, companies typically require customers to download an app or text a number to unlock the device. To end a trip, customers park the scooter on the sidewalk close to the curb. The scooters are not locked to docks or stations or other objects such as bike racks or street signs.
Electric scooters are powered by an electric motor, and in Portland, companies will be required to cap the maximum speed at 15 MPH.