Off the Map
Bird, AT&T collaborate on campaign to stop distracted scooting
"[I]t’s becoming clear smartphone distractions are no longer just a problem in the car," AT&T wrote in a blog post. The campaign shows what can happen if riders decide to "scoot distracted," and is being circulated on social platforms like Twitter and YouTube.
Automaker SEAT unveils new electric scooter
Joining rivals Ford Motor Company in the electric bike and scooter space, automaker SEAT unveiled a scooter of its own last week, according to Electrek.
The Spanish car company debuted its new eXS scooter at the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. The electric technology is courtesy of Segway Ninebot, while the scooter appears to have been designed in-house.
"As cities continue to grow, achieving efficient mobility has become one of the major challenges that institutions and carmakers have to tackle," the company said in a statement.
Bird raises concerns over Washington, DC program
As Washington, DC prepares to make dockless bikes and scooters a permanent part of its transportation landscape, one provider has issues with the program.
DCist reports that Bird’s head of government partnerships, David Estrada, sent a letter to Mayor Muriel Bowser saying that the new regulations "would render it impossible for any provider to serve the D.C. community and truly advance the shared mission of reducing short car trips." Lime also raised similar concerns in an email to DCist, calling for more flexibility.
Bird’s main criticism appears to be the cap on dockless vehicles, which has been raised slightly from the pilot program. It also has issues with the variable speed limits: 10 miles per hour for scooters and 20 miles per hour for bikes.
NYC dockless bike-share pilot program gets 90-day extension
The pilot program that brought dockless bikes to the New York boroughs of Staten Island, the Bronx and Queens is set for a 90-day extension, according to Crain's New York Business.
Jump and Lime earned the chance to participate in the pilot and have both been offered extensions by the New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT). Citi Bike, which is now operated by Lyft following its acquisition of Motivate, is also a participant in the pilot.
Atlanta debates dockless regulations
Atlanta is advancing a series of regulations for dockless bikes and scooters, with the public having their chance to weigh in, according to WXIA.
Under the proposed rules, scooters would be limited to 15 miles per hour, companies would be required to educate riders on proper usage, and the vehicles will be required to be parked upright and not in the public right-of-way.
If the city finds consistent parking problems are linked to one company, that company could be forced to reduce its scooter fleet or cease operating altogether. There is also a series of permitting fees, depending on the size of a company’s fleet.
Alexandria, VA rolls out dockless pilot program
The city of Alexandria, VA in Washington, DC’s suburbs will carry out a nine-month pilot program of dockless bikes and scooters, The Washington Post reports.
During the pilot, companies will be limited to 200 scooters or bikes each, and will be required to respond to reports of illegal parking. Scooters are not allowed on sidewalks, while bikes and electric bikes are allowed, except in some areas of the city’s historic Old Town.
"These things are coming," Alexandria City Council Member Paul Smedberg, D, said during the legislature’s debate, per The Post.
ICYMI: Lime recalls scooters
Lime issued a global recall on its scooter made by Chinese manufacturer Okai due to risks of them breaking in half during use. The company said the Okai-made scooters are a small percentage of its overall fleet, and that they have all been removed from service.
Kristin Musulin, Chris Teale and Sean Gibbons contributed to this post.