Car Free in Dallas
Dallas has another fantastic new mode of transportation, this time with tiny wheels: electric scooters.
Two companies — Lime, the bike-share company, and Bird, a California startup — have both launched scooter-rental service, following approval of an ordinance on June 27 by the Dallas City Council.
Like the bike rentals, the scooters will be made available for anyone to rent for however long or far they wish. The scooters, which go anywhere from 15 to 30 mph, cost $1 to start and an additional 15 cents per minute.
According to CBS, Lime and Bird will bring in about 500 scooters.
The ordinance is a six-month trial with certain restrictions, including staying off sidewalks in the Central Business District (which includes both downtown and Deep Ellum), and can travel only on roads where the speed limit is 35 mph or less.
Lime, which offers a how-to video you can watch here, says in a release that they've have partnered with local businesses to distribute the scooters on their private property and not in the public right of way or obstructing sidewalks.
They'll collect the scooters on a daily basis, charge them overnight, and redistribute them the next day in approved areas so that they are on the sidewalks fully charged, maintained, and ready to be ridden every morning.
Lime launched in Dallas in August 2017 and offers electric bikes in addition to regular bikes and electric scooters.
In bad news for the bike-share companies, the City Council also approved a new set of rules for rental bikes. The five companies who offer bike-sharing — Lime, Ofo, Spin, Mobike, and VBikes — will have to pay an $808 application fee and also pay $21 per bike.
They'll also have to pick up any bikes that are reported to be blocking sidewalks or fallen over, within two hours if reported during the day or 12 hours if reported overnight.
A release from Ofo calls it anti-business, with the highest fees in the country per unit.
"We're fully supportive of smart regulations that promote innovation and protect consumer safety, and we’re certainly willing to pay our fair share to operate in Dallas," says Everett Weiler, general manager of Ofo Texas. "However, these exorbitant fees would be among the highest in the country and severely limit residents access to affordable, convenient transportation as providers focus solely on the urban core where demand is highest, harming those in underserved areas who truly need more choice."