Seattle leaders may oppose scooter shares — none are allowed in town — but Lime is waging a campaign to counter that resistance.
“We would have to change the law,” said Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan. “They would not be legal in Seattle. And I know the state Legislature has some concerns, too. Because any time you introduce something that is motorized where pedestrians are, or where bikes are, you increase the ability to have accidents.”
While Seattle maintains a “no scooters in town” stance, Lime sent an email to its users Wednesday morning, referring them to a special website. Pro-scooter residents simply type in their name and an email is sent to city officials. That message states that the city should “quickly implement a process to bring Lime scooters to the city.” Once a person enters their address, the message will automatically send it to the mayor and the appropriate council member.
It also provides an option to tweet a pre-written message on Twitter, supporting scooters in Seattle.
According to the website:
Something special is happening in Seattle: over 320,000 people have taken a Lime bike ride. That’s almost half the population of the city itself! It’s clear citizens are loving this new way to get around. In fact, Seattle has become a leader in dockless transportation in the process.
Now we think it’s time to add electric scooters as a new option for Seattle residents! We want Mayor Durkan and the City Council to know that citizens like you want that too. Taking a moment to show support will ensure Seattle continues to have more affordable, convenient, pollution-free transportation options.
Scooter shares in Seattle
Scooter shares are like bikeshares Seattle has become familiar with — free-floating vehicles customers can rent, ride, and then drop off at their destination. Seattle customers took more than 1 million rides on Lime Bikes within the company’s first year in town. In fact, Seattleites took more than 1.3 million rides across three different bikeshare companies in the month of May 2018.
While bikeshares are thriving in Seattle, the city is adopting a “wait and see” approach to the emerging trend of shareable scooters across the country. Mayor Durkan says that scooter sharing model poses many questions and potential dangers.
“I’ve talked to a lot of mayors around the country who have the scooters, a number of them are trying to back away because there are a significant number of injuries that happen on the scooters and the cities are potentially liable for those injuries,” Durkan said.
Lime has operated a bikeshare, including electric bikes, in Seattle since July 2017. It has recently expanded into Tacoma, not only with bikes, but with electric scooters, too. Tacoma and Spokane are the only two cities in Washington state with Lime’s scooters. Spokane won the scooters over Labor Day Weekend. Portland currently has two electric scooter shares.
But for now, Seattle is scooterless.
“It’s wait and see,” Mayor Durkan said.
The mayor would like to just focus on bikeshares in Seattle, for now.
“We get the bikes assimilated, and we will see where we are,” she said. “But by that time, there’s gonna be flying scooters.”