The extension will provide more time to thoroughly study the impacts of e-scooters on the transportation system to inform decisions about whether and how e-scooters should continue to be allowed in Portland. By extending the pilot, it will give PBOT more time to share findings with the public and solicit feedback from Portlanders. The extension will also afford more time to test innovative ways to further improve the program.
With a longer pilot program, PBOT staff will be able to continue to explore a variety of issues raised by this new technology, including:
- How Portlanders might be using e-scooters in ways that ease congestion and reduce carbon emissions.
- How e-scooters can best meet the transportation needs of historically underserved communities, particularly people of color and people living on low incomes.
- How rider education campaigns and continued enforcement can promote safer e-scooter riding.
- How macro-economic factors, like competition, mergers and acquisitions, and market volatility, may impact local operators.
With the extension, the six companies currently permitted by PBOT will have the ability to continue to operate in Portland until Dec. 31, 2020. The companies include Bird, Bolt, Lime, Razor, Shared, and Spin. During this extension, PBOT will not issue permits to additional companies.
PBOT will update its Administrative Rules governing the Shared Electric Scooter Pilot Program in spring 2020 to accommodate this extension. PBOT may make additional changes to its regulatory requirements to apply lessons learned and further improve the program.
PBOT is announcing this extension now because local operators seek to provide stability for their employees and enable planning for the future. During the summer, the six e-scooter companies employed more than 50 full-time and more than 100 part-time workers in Portland.
Originally posted on Metro Magazine