Bronx residents test e-scooters ahead of citywide pilot program

Riders at the LINK demo
courtesy of LINK

As the city prepares to select an e-scooter partner, Bronx residents had the opportunity earlier this month to test ride one from one of the companies vying for the pilot program.

The city’s Department of Transportation recently released a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) for e-scooters. Between now and March, the DOT will select between three to five e-scooter companies, which will be rolled out in all of the boroughs outside of Manhattan by the spring.

On Nov. 6, Superpedestrian demonstrated its LINK e-scooter safety systems at Yankee Stadium, where residents and community leaders were able to ride the next-generation vehicle for the first time. Superpedestrian operates LINK in multiple cities across the U.S. and Europe. It recently launched in Rome, Italy and was just awarded a permit in Seattle, where it will launch this fall.

“We came out to the Bronx today to show people in the community that LINK scooters offer neighborhoods across the borough a safe, low-cost and reliable way to get around the city,” said Assaf Biderman, founder and CEO of Superpedestrian, LINK’s parent company. “For communities that haven’t always had the transportation they need, especially as we grapple with COVID-19, LINK scooters can make a big difference.”

Paul Mondesire, community relations consultant for Superpedestrian, spoke to the Bronx Times about the advantages of LINK. He explained that while there are numerous scooter companies, LINK has the advantage of Geofencing, which prevents riding on certain streets and allows parking in designated areas.

While it can be paid for on app, like Citi Bike, there are no docking stations for the scooters.

“NYC is trying to do it better than other cities,” Mondesire said.

If selected by NYC for the pilot program, Mondesire estimates there will be about 1,000 e-scooters in the outer boroughs. He felt that with the need to social distance and with transportation deserts like Co-op City and Pelham Bay, e-scooters could definitely help the Bronx.

“From my perspective, what I think is most important is it gives an alternative transportation option to the citizens of New York,” he said.

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