NewsHillsborough County


Cameras capture e-scooters on Tampa's Riverwalk despite being banned

E-scooters deploy in downtown Tampa
Posted at 2:38 PM, May 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-28 19:35:38-04

TAMPA, Fla. -- The launch of the e-scooters pilot program in Tampa has been such a hit, carriers are having a hard time keeping up with the demand.

At any given time, representatives with SPIN are working to pick up the "dumped" and unused e-scooters before putting them back in their "corrals" where they are permitted to be picked up from.

On Memorial Day weekend, an initial fleet of 600 units for each company were deployed in five different areas across downtown.


ABC Action News watched as a user went along Tampa's Riverwalk, where they are banned before turning around.

The restrictions for when and where you can ride the scooters include:

  • Motorized scooter vehicles shall not be ridden on the sidewalk on 7th Avenue
  • Motorized scooter vehicles shall not be ridden on the sidewalk on Bayshore Boulevard
  • Motorized scooter vehicles shall not be ridden on Tampa Riverwalk
  • Users shall dismount when riding motorized scooter vehicles through crowded sidewalks filled with pedestrians

The city's agreement with the companies also state that they are not to be parked along the Riverwalk, something we also found.

"Users should also be instructed to park motorized scooters upright and be instructed not to park and ride motorized scooters on The Tampa Riverwalk, Bayshore Boulevard sidewalk and 7th Avenue, nor on any private property," the agreement states.

The e-scooters have a GPS-like technology that is supposed to slow down when going to the wrong areas.

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY NEWS | The latest headlines from Hillsborough County

SPIN's operations manager tells ABC Action News this does happen, but if someone is going 12 to 15 miles per hour entering into an area they aren't supposed to, the units don't just turn off but they will continue to coast before a user realizes their speeds have been reduced dramatically.

Dan Fleischbein with SPIN says they are learning the user habits, tweaking their GPS coordinates and speeds to adhere to the city's regulations.

So far Bird and Spin are the first two companies to put e-scooters on Tampa streets but city officials say there are more companies to come.

You can rent an e-scooter by using an app and paying for it with a credit card.

It costs one dollar to unlock the scooter and between 15 and 20 cents a mile per ride.

The units can be left anywhere in downtown Tampa, and must be picked up by the company within 12 hours.