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Scooters return to downtown Tampa after being removed due to coronavirus concerns

The city removed scooters in May
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Posted at 9:55 PM, Jul 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-27 23:30:03-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Scooters have returned to downtown Tampa after being gone for several months over coronavirus concerns.

The city of Tampa removed the scooters at the end of May when the city decided the program may be too risky during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last week, scooters returned to the streets of downtown Tampa.

Companies like Lime have additional safety protocols in place.

"We are a method of transportation outdoors and it's single user so it allows you to be physically distant and we have taken every measure possible to make sure these devices are disinfected prior to putting them out on the streets," said Uhriel Bedoya, General Manager for Lime in Florida.

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The Lime app provides riders with essential safety tips. It suggests riders wash their hands or use hand sanitizer when they reach their destination. It also recommends users ride solo for safety and social distancing.

Users should maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from others.

Four scooter companies including Bird, Lime, Jump and Spin first launched in Tampa in 2019.

"It's easy to get to, easy access, you know, you can go from point A to point B, real fast, you know," said rider Joshua Walker.

The city of St. Petersburg plans to discuss a scooter program at a city council meeting on August 20. A scooter program could be implemented as soon as September.

Riders said scooters provide an alternative mode of transportation. It's an easy and fast way to get around town.

"It was better than walking. We caught a breeze in the air instead of us walking in the heat," said Walker.