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Tampa sets strict rules as E Scooters are about to zoom into city

2400 E Scooters about to zoom into Tampa
Posted at 3:37 PM, Apr 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-18 17:48:54-04

TAMPA, Fla. — E Scooters are about to zoom into Tampa—2,400 of them.

"What we found with other cities is that they were having these folks come in without any framework at all, and wreaking havoc on these different cities,” said Tampa Transportation Director Jean Duncan.

"They were getting left behind on sidewalks; people throwing them across bridges,” explained Duncan.

Some cities have actually started tracking emergency room injuries related to E Scooters because they've been so problematic.

Tampa wants to avoid these problems.

"We already know we have issues on Bayshore, 7th Avenue, and the Riverwalk with people on bicycles as it is,” said Duncan, saying these areas will be off-limits.

The one-year pilot in Tampa includes four companies-- Lime, Spin, Jump and Bird.

These companies will collect the scooters and keep them corralled.

In two weeks, you’ll likely be able to ride them at 15 miles per hour, on the street and in bike lanes if Florida passes new legislation.

"If that does change, the scooters will be able to basically be treated very similar to bicycles on the street,” said Tampa Police Department Lt. Patrick Messmer.

If new legislation does not pass, riders will be required to ride on the sidewalk and be capped to 6 miles per hour by an internal governor.

Tampa has some other rules to keep E Scooters in-line.

They'll be geo-fenced and will glide to a stop if a rider takes them outside the designated area.

You have to be 18 years or older to ride and have a driver's license.

Each company must have a 24 hour liaison and 1-800 hotline in case of problems.

That said, the ride isn't cheap. It's $1 for the first mile and 5-cents for every minute after.

And if you get hurt, that could be another bill.

"They won't provide a helmet. It's up the user to decide whether they want to be safe and provide a helmet,” said Duncan.