Salt Lake City leaders ‘cautiously optimistic’ about new rideshare scooters

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah) — If you’ve been in Salt Lake City lately, odds are you’ve seen new rideshare scooters pop up around downtown.

Some Utahns are excited, but others are concerned.

Bobby Boggs, a Park City resident who travels to Salt Lake City often, has mixed feelings.

“It’s economical (and) it gets you around fast,” said Boggs. “(It) may be better than biking. It’s fun to ride, too.”

Boggs says he’s primarily concerned with safety since scooters are supposed to be on the streets.

“The big thing now obviously is people on their phones texting and so forth, so make sure you’re aware so you don’t happen to swerve over a little bit and have a biker or scooter person there,” said Boggs.

Salt Lake Community Council Chairman, Christian Harrison, has some concerns too.

He says he wants to see vendors pay for legal enforcement, share all data and be open to thoughtful regulations.

“One of the promises that they hold out is air quality, but as it stands right now, it takes for every five scooters, it takes two car trips to gather them up, charge them and put them where they belong,” said Harrison.

Salt Lake City Transportation Manager, Chris Jones, says he understands these concerns.

“We want to learn about what the challenges are with this technology,” said Jones.

He says city workers trying to be transparent and flexible while welcoming technology.

“Right now, there are 1,000 scooters available to ride in Salt Lake City. Bird and Lime are the only companies providing scooters in the area. Jones says they’re just testing out the scooters right now.

“We’re getting a lot of complaints about scooters operating on sidewalks or not going fast enough if they’re traveling in the travel lanes, so we’re really collecting a lot of feedback,” said Jones.

Although Harrison is cautiously optimistic, he says this is an exciting time for Utahns. He encourages all riders to wear helmets and follow the laws.

“This is an opportunity for this new technology to push the city into giving us the bike infrastructure that we’ve been promised for ten years,” said Harrison.

Jones says city leaders welcome feedback. If you’d like to share your thoughts about rideshare scooters, please send an email to dockless@slcgov.com.

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