Advocates working to undo law blocking debut of dockless scooters

Pat Loeb
December 26, 2018 - 7:37 am
LimeBike scooters for rent on the corner of F Street and Front Street in downtown San Diego on March 1, 2018.

Eduardo Contreras/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS/Sipa USA

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Electronic scooters have become a transportation option in more than 100 cities. Philadelphia has been preparing to to debut dockless scooter fleets, but an odd quirk in state law is keeping them away.

Remember Segways? They were going to revolutionize cities and transit. These days, they are seen mostly carrying tour groups around Old City. But back in 2002, at the height of the hype, Pennsylvania Senator (now majority leader) Jake Corman introduced a bill making them the only scooter-type vehicle legal on roadways, admittedly at the request of Segway's lobbyist.

Randy LoBasso of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, says scooter-share companies Bird and Lime are working to undo that, which he hopes will give the city time to improve safety measures.

"City Council and the administration are going to have to get pretty serious about creating new and better infrastructure on our streets for people riding them," LoBasso said. 

Injuries have been one drawback in other cities that have adopted scooters. There's also been a problem with dockless scooters being left scattered about, like litter. The city has already been working on regulations, should the scooters get the okay. 

Councilman Derek Green has called for additional hearings — "to have all the issues on the table and also look at best practices in other cities."