If you’ve traveled to other large or mid-sized cities around the country, you’ve likely seen stand-up scooters parked on sidewalks and street corners.
Now, Fort Wayne is getting in on the action with a partnership with VeoRide, bringing electric scooters and bikes to the city on a trial basis.
“The goal of the pilot program is to launch in 2019 and it will go all the way through 2020,” said City Planner Dan Baisden. “It’s really to test and understand how people used shared mobility such as electric scooters and shared bikes.”
The scooters will only be allowed to operate and park in certain geographic areas through technology known as geo-fencing. That area has not yet been determined, however, Promenade Park and possibly some other downtown parks will not allow scooters.
The pilot will begin with a small number of scooters and bikes, then later expand to a maximum of 300 scooters and 150 bikes.
Scooters haven’t made their way to Fort Wayne just yet, but they are already on the streets in South Bend. Residents have mixed opinions on the ride sharing scooters. Some think it is a fun way to get around town.
“I’ve used them just to get around town a couple of times and I’ve used them to get around my neighborhood with my friends,” said Henry Gillin. “They’re pretty fun and a cool way to get around.”
Others said e-scooters could be dangerous, especially if riders do not follow traffic laws or drive recklessly.
“Some of the people that ride it, they ride it too crazy and they can easily be bumped off by a car,” said Stephen Mattis. “I don’t really see the benefit of them riding it. I would rather they ride a bicycle.”
“I’ve seen people around town and downtown on them,” said Hedy Darnell. “It looks like fun but I’m older and I’ve heard too many negative things so I’m going to plan to stay off them.”
Here in Fort Wayne, a committee of officials, police and the public have studied the pros and cons of scooters in other cities to develop rules and regulations for the pilot program.
Officials hope to avoid some of the problems that have occurred in other cities, while providing residents and tourists with a new way to explore Fort Wayne.