Scooters coming back to the Twin Cities, but with more regulation

March 22, 2019 08:36 PM

Leaders in both Minneapolis and St. Paul are looking at regulating the booming shared transportation industry as electric scooters gain popularity.

The scooters from Bird and Lime made their debut in the Twin Cities last summer.


Met with excitement from consumers, city regulators launched pilot programs to control the distribution and number of scooters.

In Minneapolis, the pilot program morphed into new ordinances that covers in detail motorized foot scooters. The regulations spell out a range of information, including how many companies are allowed to hold contracts with the city and how many scooters are allowed on the streets at one time.

But regulators in St. Paul say they are taking a more broad approach, introducing legislation that would give the give authority to broadly shared transportation systems.

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"We spent a lot of time looking at ordinances from other cities," said transportation engineer Reuben Collins. "A major challenge in this shared transportation world is moving a mile a minute."

Collins said detailed regulations will come from negotiations with companies who apply to put scooters on St. Paul streets. Part of the reason for that is to anticipate new technology in the years to come.

"Part of what we're doing is trying to stay as much in step with Minneapolis and other cities and the Twin Cities as we can," Collins said.

A representative from Lime confirmed to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that the company is working on applications to operate in both Minneapolis and St. Paul.

In a statement, the company said the "are hopeful to return this spring."

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Kirsten Swanson

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