Electric scooters return to Tippecanoe County streets

Two Spin scooters parked on 4th Street in Downtown Lafayette

Electric scooters returned to the streets of Tippecanoe County Friday, but you can't ride them just yet.

Posted: Jun 21, 2019 11:10 AM
Updated: Jun 21, 2019 11:12 AM

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — Electric scooters returned to the streets of Tippecanoe County Friday, but you can't ride them just yet. The City of West Lafayette said the company Spin is testing out deployment zones ahead of an expected launch next week.

Crews from Zagster, the partner company for Spin that runs a bike share in the county, were seen placing pairs of scooters in downtown Lafayette and West Lafayette Friday. 

West Lafayette Development Director Erik Carlson said they are still working on some insurance paperwork, but he expects it to be done quickly. Once the information is in, the public will be able to ride the scooters. 

As we reported, applications were approved for the companies Spin and Gotcha in May. Each company will drop off 150 scooters. Gotcha scooters are expected to arrive before the end of the summer.

The scooters will be allowed to operate in Lafayette and on Purdue's campus, however Carlson told News 18 they will be relocated every morning to West Lafayette.

Tippecanoe County's first go-round with electric scooters ended in December, when the City of West Lafayette asked company Bird to removed an estimated 1,700 - 3,000 scooters to draft an ordinance. The city has not heard from Bird since. 

The scooters, similar to Bird, will cost $1 to start and $.15 per minute following and are app-based. However, following the city's ordinance, you can access the scooters without a smart phone. 

The ordinance, passed in March, also requires lower rates for those who can't afford to ride the scooters. Carlson said that can be accessed by contacting the company and showing proof of income.

Riders are not allowed to ride on sidewalks or "shared paths" and must be over 16-years-old. The scooters are also expected to be parked in designated areas and can't go faster than 15 mph. The ordinance also says users are encouraged to wear helmets.

The ordinance states there will be a $25 fee for illegally parked scooters. There is also a $100 fee to remove the scooter, and a $10 storage fee per day.

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