EVERETT — Rentable electric scooters will dot Everett streets on Friday as the Fisherman’s Village Music Festival gets into full swing.
Lime, one of the nation’s leading scooter-rental and bike-share companies, is launching a three-month pilot program with 100 e-scooters.
“This is going to be a great opportunity to connect parts of our community without the need for single-occupancy vehicles,” said Nick Harper, deputy mayor, introducing the pilot at Wednesday night’s Everett City Council meeting.
The battery-powered scooters will cost riders $1 to unlock and 25 cents per minute thereafter.
“Way more people are willing to ride scooters than bikes,” Jonathan Hopkins, Lime’s head of Northwest strategic development, told the council during the briefing.
They do not require a docking station at the end of the ride. Rather, riders are supposed to leave them in the “furniture zone,” the space between the curb and the sidewalk — where flower pots, light poles and bike racks are located.
Lime must move scooters that are improperly parked within two hours after being notified, according to a draft agreement between Lime and the city.
The city is instituting a 10 cents fee for every ride that starts in city limits, according to the document. And the company is allowed up to 300 scooters during the pilot program. More could be considered depending on usage.
To use the scooters, a phone app is needed to unlock them. Then riders step on and kick off to get going, according to a video on Lime’s website. A throttle to accelerate and hand brake are located on the handlebars.
Lime plans on sharing ridership data, so the city will be able to track the number of trips and routes used.
Each night the scooters are collected and charged, then redistributed on city streets.
“It means the cityscape gets a reset each day,” Hopkins said.
Where scooters are placed tends to mirror density, according to Hopkins.
Users are required to wear helmets and cannot ride scooters on the sidewalk, according to city code. Riders are allowed to use bike lanes or city streets that have speed limits of 25 mph or less. Scooters are not allowed to be used in city parks.
Many city councilmembers were excited about the pilot, though some expressed concern about inappropriately parked scooters and safety.
“I think this will be a great thing for our community,” said Councilmember Brenda Stonecipher during Wednesday’s meeting.
Last week Seattle announced the city would begin putting together a scooter-share pilot program, which could launch early next year. The city already has dockless bike share.
In Tacoma, e-scooters were introduced last fall. There, they are allowed to be ridden on sidewalks.
In Snohomish County, Bothell is considering implementing a scooter pilot. The City Council is expected to decide in early June, according to city spokesperson Catherine Jansen.