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Open Thread: How would electric scooters come to Philly?

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As the debate over dockless electric scooters rages on in the west coast, we want to know how you think they would work in our city.

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It started on the west coast—San Francisco, especially—but picked up speed this summer to eventually become a national question: dockless electric scooters. Yes or no?

Much like the increasingly popular bikeshare programs around the country, electric scooters work off an app. Download the app, unlock a scooter, pay $1 or $2 upfront with more fees the longer you ride, and go until you reach your destination.

But there’s the problem, at least for a lot of cities. Since the scooters are dockless, you can just park them and go about your business—a fact that has upset many residents angry about disposed scooters littering their streets.

People across the country are divided over the issue. In New York City, two City Council members have suggested bringing scooters to the city. In Beverly Hills, the scooters are illegal, and in Cleveland, the Bird company’s electric scooters stayed for less than two weeks before they were temporarily removed.

Philly, which only has the Indego bike share program at the moment, has already looked at the very real possibility of electric scooters in the city. In May, City Council passed an ordinance that would, “establish licensing and other requirements regarding the placement of bicycles and other small vehicles.” A permit process for bike share programs and electric scooters could be implemented within the next few months.

The scooter discussion came up most recently in a piece on Philly.com, which examined the possibility that electric scooters could come to Philly. In the piece, a chief executive at Skip—another company offering the e-scooter service—expressed excitement at the idea of coming to Philly.

But with such a shaky idea of what that could look like, we want to turn to you. Should Philly get ready for electric scooters? If so, what kinds of regulations and bans should the city look into? Should people ride on the sidewalk or the street?

Let us know what you think in the comments.

  • Could electric scooters soon be on NYC streets? [Curbed NY]
  • Everything you need to know about scooters, bikeshare, dockless bikes [Curbed LA]
  • Bird to temporarily remove electric scooters in Cleveland [Cleveland.com]
  • Bill [Phila.gov]
  • Electric scooters have brought chaos and outrage across cities. Is Philly next? [Philly.com]