NewsPinellas County


E-Scooters launch in downtown St. Pete with a slew of new rules

Posted at 3:04 PM, Oct 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-30 17:54:24-04

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Electric scooters are now available in St. Petersburg.

On Thursday, 300 electric scooters were placed around the downtown area and Razor and Veo plan to add more in the coming months.

The companies are launching two different options, which allow riders to either stand up or sit down. The scooters go up to 15 miles per hour and cost $1 to start and between 33-37 cents a minute to ride.

But unlike in Tampa, there’s a slew of different rules. The biggest one: The e-scooters have to be docked in corrals at the end of your ride. The corral locations are listed on a map inside of the Razor and Veo apps.

Currently, St. Petersburg has 33 corral locations but they plan to add a total of 90 within the next several months. If a rider fails to dock a scooter in one of the corrals, they will continue to be billed by the minute.

“That was one of the things we were seeing happening in other cities is they were being left everywhere,” St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman, explained at a launch event Friday. “When it came to scooters, we saw things happening in other cities and we decided let’s take our time and really try to make sure we learn from the right things other cities have done and the wrong things they’ve done.”

The electric scooters will not be allowed on sidewalks, the popular waterfront trail or at the St. Petersburg Pier. You’ll also have to ride them in bike lanes or along streets with posted speed limits at or below 30 miles per hour. That meaning drivers will have to pay attention.

Mo Asghari, who works with Veo Rides, says that applies to scooter riders, too.

“Just make sure that you’re keeping your eyes on the road and use a little bit of common sense,” he elaborated.

St. Pete will test out the scooters over the next year and a half and business owners are anxious to see how popular they are.

“I can’t wait to see everyone on the scooters, we just have to be safe and be careful,” Mark Ferguson, the owner of Ferg’s Bar and Grill added.

Nicole Roberts is giddy about the launch, too. She’s on a mission to encourage everyone to ditch their car keys in downtown St. Pete and instead use public transportation, rideshare companies and bike and scooter rentals.

“What I’ve noticed is getting from the waterfront to the end of Central is a little too short to take a bike but a little too long to walk, and this scooter is the perfect option in between to get you there in a fast amount of time,” she said.

You can try them out both types of scooters for free on Sunday, Nov. 1 at 10 a.m. in the Al Lang Stadium parking lot.