Ep. 48 – Scooter Chat (Part One)

Dockless scooters arrived in Raleigh in late July. Three months later, we’ve seen Lime join the scene and City Councilors are debating how to handle them. In this episode, Dan and Justin and I talk scooters. Both Dan and Justin generally advocate for the scooters, but we all recognize some issues. We talk the pros, the cons, and some questions.

In Part Two of this episode, we talk to someone who charges the scooters.


SF is Bringing Back Banned Electric Scooters – with Limits – Wired, August 30, 2018

Raleigh Analyzes Four Options for Bird Scooters – TBJ – October 16, 2018

Durham Approves Rules for Electric Scooters – Indy Week – October 15, 2018

The Options
City staff presented the Council with four options:

  1. The first option – and the one recommended by staff – would allow both Bird and Lime to continue operating, at least through July. But both companies would have to agree to the new regulations and sign encroachment agreements. The city proposes making the agreement in effect until July 31 of next year, when operators could be solicited through a request for proposals. “This approach provides an opportunity for a rapidly evolving industry and technology to mature,” Moore wrote. “The approach provides adequate time and opportunity to produce a thoughtful comprehensive request for proposals to competitively select the best operators,” Moore noted in his memo, adding that the General Assembly could add clarity by acting on the issue in early 2019.
  2. Direct city staff to prepare an RFP now in order to select vendors “most advantageous to the City’s goals based on criteria that includes operations, equity and safety.” Few resources would be required for this option, as little would change in the interim. But, as the memo points out, the plan doesn’t include a clear regulatory structure for scooter operations, and the RFP would likely happen quickly, “without opportunity for stakeholder input.”
  3. Direct city staff to prepare an RFP, but, instead of letting scooter operations continue as is, the city would issue a “cease and desist” directive to current operators. With this option, unlicensed operators would be removed from the streets, providing enough time “to produce a comprehensive, thoughtful request for proposals to competitively select the best operators.”
  4. Ban dockless scooters completely.

Encroachment Agreement to be discussed by Raleigh City Council Tuesday, Nov. 6