With congested roads, overcrowded buses and subways, and many parts of the borough known as transportation deserts, Bronxites will soon have a new method of transportation.
On April 14, the Department of Transportation (DOT) announced Bird, Veo and Lime were the three companies chosen for the electric scooter share pilot program.
The pilot, which will run for a minimum of one year, will focus on communities including Eastchester, Co-Op City, Throggs Neck and Soundview. It will allow the DOT to see how e-scooter share programs work on city streets for the first time and will require that companies participating in the initiative operate in alignment with the City’s Vision Zero and equity goals.
“We are proud to bring e-scooter share to the Bronx,” said DOT Commissioner Hank Gutman. “We welcome Bird, Lime and Veo—and we look forward to working closely with them, elected officials and local Bronx communities to make e-scooter share an effective, convenient and safe way to get around.”
It is estimated to bring as many as 2,000 to 3,000 scooters to the east Bronx during Phase 1 (2021; including neighborhoods of Eastchester, Wakefield, Pelham Parkway and Co-op City) with an increase to as many as 4,000 to 6,000 in a potential second phase (2022; including Throggs Neck, Parkchester and Soundview).
The zone is designed not to overlap with Bronx neighborhoods targeted by Citi Bike as part of the bike share company’s current expansion plan.
By early summer, e-scooters are expected to be on the streets of the Phase One area.
The e-scooter program was the brainchild of Councilman Fernando Cabrera who introduced legislation to bring them to the Bronx in 2018.
“The Bronx always feels like we’re last, but today we’re the first to start a pilot program,” Cabrera said. “I couldn’t think of a better place to start the pilot program. We are excited.
I can’t wait till we have it all throughout the city because it’s going to make our city’s transportation better.”
Sam Cooper, senior manager of government partnerships at Bird, said the company looks forward to providing a safe reliable form of transportation for Bronxites.
“Bird is extremely honored to be part of the first ever e-scooter pilot in NYC,”Cooper stated. “Bird’s mission is to get people out of cars and into cleaner forms of transportation and there’s no better place to do that than here in the Bronx.”