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More scooters coming to Lafayette as city introduces pilot program

As West Lafayette cuts back on Bird scooters, on the other side of the river, city leaders are launching a pilot program for the same tech.

Posted: Dec. 13, 2018 11:34 PM
Updated: Dec. 14, 2018 4:27 AM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) -- As West Lafayette cuts back on Bird scooters, on the other side of the river, city leaders are launching a pilot program for the same tech.

Bird, Blue Duck and Spin dockless rides will each add 200 scooters to its fleet in the city. It's a way to monitor scooters from three different companies. No more than 50 can be in the heart of downtown.

Lafayette's interim regulations will provide clear guidelines on electric scooters from the three companies. 

Lafayette natives voiced their opinion on the new program.

"For the love of God just put them somewhere when you're done with it," said William Sharp. "It's just not in the way of everyone."

The scooters from all three companies are $1 to start, 15 cents a minute and it gets you from point A to point B reaching speeds up to 16 miles per hour.

The city wants to make sure the sharing systems are consistent with the safety of anyone using a public right-of-way.

"I could support that to keep people more accountable for how they are driving them," said Sharp. "I just don't like them around. It clogs the traffic."

Some neighbors say the city needs the regulation because of the misuse of the scooters.

"I think they are very frustrating whenever I'm trying to walk on the sidewalk and they are zooming by," said Victoria Nelson. "They really aren't paying attention to pedestrians."

Pedestrians upset like Nelson can call a 24-hour customer service line to report any issues with the scooters. All three companies have agreed to this. They've all also agreed to be compliant in placement of the rides.

"I feel like they're just laid around wherever and if there's fewer of them then maybe they won't be around as much," said Nelson.

Scooters must be parked upright on hard surfaces like a sidewalk, beside a bicycle rack or any designated area. The scooters are not allowed to block any public access to business or other public amenities.

Bird, Blue Duck and Spin cannot have their scooters placed in front of fire hydrants, emergency facilities, bus benches, utility poles or boxes, and they can't block access to parked cars.

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