Davis City Council discusses bringing e-scooters to the community

MICHAEL LEAHY / AGGIE

Regulations, policies being established to monitor e-scooters’ impact on city

Electric scooters have been popping up in numerous parts of California, and the Davis City Council is discussing bringing them to town.

E-scooters, like the rentable bikes around campus and the city, can be rented and dropped off anywhere. Simply downloading an app allows users to gain access to the electric-powered scooters. The whole rental process is almost identical to the bike-share programs. There have been several concerns, however, regarding the potential issues these e-scooters may cause. In addition, rules are still being discussed in order to manage e-scooter programs.

An urgency ordinance was implemented to alleviate concerns that starting these programs in the Davis community could result in abandoned scooters around town. It also was aimed to protect residents from getting hurt or hurting someone and to regulate the number of scooters allowed in the area. The Davis City Council came together on Oct. 30 to discuss the best way to determine expected rules and authorization standards so that the safety of the community will remain intact. The public’s peace, safety and health is the council’s number one priority in the case of enabling electric scooters in Davis. Popular companies that offer these rentals include Lime, Bird, Spin, Skip and Scoot.

“Many cities have experienced problems with scooter use,” said Floria Partida, a Davis city council member. “We want this venture to be as successful as possible if it begins operating in Davis. We believe this is a good option for alternate transportation, and it would be more difficult to bring a program back that has ended badly due to poor management. Already, we have received multiple people reaching out to us with concerns. Any program would need to have well thought out regulations to keep everyone safe.”

The city council decided to allow e-scooters to come to Davis as long as they are authorized and permitted. This would allow the council to exert legislative control over the increasingly popular business. The council’s goal is to ban scooter share companies until they create a policy that can take the city of Davis’ well-being into account.

“The last time we passed such a temporary measure ‘banning’ an activity was for commercial cannabis,” said Will Arnold, a Davis city council member. “In that case, we then immediately began the process of forming a comprehensive policy, which we completed earlier this year. We have now licensed five dispensaries, which are either already open or opening soon, along with a number of manufacturing and other cannabis-related businesses. I expect the scooter-share industry will follow a similar path.”

Although the Davis City Council is concerned with the safety aspects of these e-scooters, it is also excited to have these local rentals for students who are looking for means of transportation to classes.

“They are super accessible, and are much more efficient than jump bikes, in my opinion,” said Will Khouri, a second-year managerial economics major. “The only downside is that people sometimes trash them cause they are easier to throw around — at least that is how it is with the scooters placed around my hometown. Still, the pros outweigh the cons, and I do miss having the availability of them.”

 

Written by: Lauren Tropio — city@theaggie.org