In an effort to provide another mode of transportation for New Yorkers and reduce congestion on the roadways, Councilman Fernando Cabrera recently announced Department of Transportation solicitation for an electric scooter share pilot program.
In 2018, the lawmaker introduced the legislation and finally two years later, it is headed in the right direction. Between now and March, the DOT will select between three to five e-scooter companies and by the spring, they will be rolled out in all of the boroughs outside of Manhattan.
“It’s taken two years to get to this point, first with legalization of e-scooters and enactment of the law authorizing the pilot program and this is the first major step in getting the pilot program moving,” Cabrera said.
The DOT is also seeking vendors to provide on-street charging, parking, scooter collection and impoundment services. These services can assist DOT to evaluate safety, rate of utilization and sustainability of e-scooters in the city.
Cabrera told the Bronx Times that cities like London and Los Angeles have e-scooters and he hopes to experience similar success in New York City. The plan is to have scooters in areas where there are no Citi Bikes.
He stressed that this program will benefit New Yorkers especially during a pandemic. He said that if people don’t want to sit on a crowded subway or bus or pay for an Uber, they can rent a scooter.
“We’re not in the same place today as we were in 2018 when I introduced legislation to legalize e-scooters and create a pilot program,” he explained. “Today we’re dealing with the fallout of COVID-19, the need to socially distance, the threat of reductions in public transit and increased fares. Now more than ever before, we need accessible and affordable transit. But this first phase to launch pilot program will allow us to develop best practices and get it right. We have the potential to be the absolute best e-scooter share program and a model for other cities.”