BALTIMORE — Dockless scooters are here to stay for at least a few more months in Baltimore.
The Baltimore Board of Estimates voted on Monday to expand the pilot program through April 30 with two more scooter companies to choose from, Spin and Jump.
“The Department of Transportation’s preliminary assessment of its dockless vehicle program shows that dockless technology is providing effective alternative transportation options for citizens in Baltimore City,” said Director Pourciau. “These bike and scooter share systems which operate without any physical stations have expanded transportation access for residents and visitors throughout the city, and help us to meet our goal of providing more efficient and sustainable transportation options for everyone."
Bird and Lime's dockless scooters were under a six-month trial period which ends February 28. When the Bird and Lime scooters first hit the streets of Baltimore unannounced last summer, the city responded by negotiating a six-month trial period with the two companies.
At the time, the vendors agreed to pay the city $15,000 each plus a dollar a day for each dockless scooter deployed on the streets.
The move to expand the program comes from a variety of factors including safety and and use. A recent survey done by the DOT says that 81 percent of residents are in favor of the scooters.
In addition to just expanding the program, the DOT announced two more options will now be available to users. New partnerships with Spin and Jump will allow the DOT to better gauge the market for dockless scooters as the warmer weather approaches.
“Extending the pilot program, and adding new operators, is a strong statement of support from the City for creative solutions to our transit challenges,” said Jon Laria, Chair of the Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Commission. “I'm optimistic we'll have good legislation in place this spring, which will allow us to further expand our fleet of dockless bikes and scooters."
The Board of Estimates says they are also looking at extending the pilot program to give the city council more time to iron out the details of a bill regulating scooter users. The Baltimore City Council had introduced a bill last month that would make going over the 15 miles per hour speed limit or riding on the sidewalk a punishable offense.