In January 2019, the city of Omaha announced plans for an electric scooter pilot program. It’s possible that the vehicles could be available to the public in May or June 2019.
Initially, an electric scooter company reached out to the city. As a result, Omaha put out a formal request for bids. In total, the city received proposals from five companies. Of those five, Lime and Spin have been selected to work with the city to provide residents with this service. It’s estimated that both companies could deploy 750 scooters.
The city is trying to avoid problems other cities have encountered in regard to the electric scooters, especially in regard to accidents that result in serious injuries or death. As such, Lime and Spin have agreed to provide education for users. Additionally, the city is planning to restrict scooters from certain locations, like parks, trails, and the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge.
They will be able to restrict the locations because the scooters are geo-fenced. This means that established boundaries will cause the e-scooters to slow down and cease operation. Users will also be advised ahead of time of these locations.
The city has it set up so the scooter companies can be fined for certain offenses. In the event there is an incident that costs the city money, the companies will have to pay the operating fees.
Many local businesses welcome new modes of transportation. While there could be expansions in the future, some companies are waiting to see how these scooters kick off and what the cost versus profitability looks like. For example, the Heartland Bike Share is not planning to bring electric scooters to their business just yet, but they do plan to roll out electric pedal assist bikes in early May.
While an operating agreement for both companies appeared on the agenda for the Omaha City Council on April 30, 2019, it was withdrawn in order to finalize some details. Once the pilot program kicks off, it is planned to run through early to mid-November.
If you find yourself to be the victim of an electric scooter accident, it’s important to know that you have legal rights and options. Because these vehicles are not heavily regulated, it can be difficult to prove fault and assess the damage. Our lawyers are prepared to take on your claim and ensure you get what you need to recover. To learn more, contact our law firm today.
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