More electric scooters to hit the streets in Indy as city works on regulation
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– A new set of electric scooters will soon hit the streets of downtown Indianapolis.
Earlier this week, Department of Business and Neighborhood Services Interim Director Brian Madison sent a letter to Bird asking them to suspend their scooter rentals and operations for 30 days, citing “a number of public safety, legal, and regulatory concerns about the scooters.”
City leaders had drafted an ordinance in April that would have banned all electric scooters, but it has been put on hold. Because of that, Bird hasn’t stopped their rentals.
Now, Lime is set to join the electric scooter craze in Indy. The rollout is set for Saturday.
“Indianapolis will be the the first market in the midwest with Lime scooters because of the City’s culture of innovation and connectivity,” said Jason Wilde, Lime Regional General Manager. “Our Lime-S scooters offer a new type of transit option for residents and visitors, and the miles of bike lanes that link the city’s neighborhoods are a natural fit for our scooters. We look forward to continue collaborating with local organizations, officials, and businesses to make getting around Indy even easier.”
Lime said it had been working with the city for months to ensure a smooth launch, but the surprise arrival of Bird forced them to launch early. Lime said it also expects to get a cease and desist letter from the city.
“We as a company and Bird as a competitor of ours…there seems to be no consequences for this so…it boxed us into a corner of saying we really need to be operating in Indianapolis as well,” said Maggie Gendron, Director of Strategic Development, for Lime.
The scooters and bikes from Lime are GPS and 3G enabled so customers can use smartphones to locate and unlock them. When the ride is finished, riders end the ride using an app and leave the Lime mobile by the street curb or a bike rack.
“Lime is committed to accountability, collaboration, and safety. In Indianapolis, the Lime-S fleet will be deployed before morning rush hour at designated locations throughout the city. The scooters will move around during the day, and the Lime team will pick up the scooters each evening for recharging,” the company said in a statement. “The scooters will be distributed again to the designated locations the following morning. This ensures the scooters are fully charged and properly maintained, as well as safeguards the pedestrian right-of-way, sidewalks and roadways.”
We have reached out to both the Mayor’s office and the Department of Business and Neighborhood Services for their thoughts on the latest development, but have so far not received a response.