Dallas’s new scooter rules are coming into focus
Dallas is edging closer to new rules for scooter companies that could affect the length of your day and, the city hopes, will incentivecompanies to keep their sidewalks free of mountains of dumping machines.The city is also working on a new toll structure to boost revenue from much-needed infrastructure repairs, including dedicated bike lanes.
After a four-month extension in November, the city's dockless travel pilot program ends next month.The city council is scheduled to vote on the new law on March 25.City officials have held talks with stakeholders from scooter operators Uber, Bird, Wheels, Lime and Ojo as well as surrounding communities such as Deep Ellum and Uptown.It presented the results of the pending negotiations at a transportation infrastructure Committee meeting on Tuesday.
We'll start with the cost.Officials had previously discussed charging electric scooter operators $1 per scooter per day.The city estimates the structure will increase revenue by $1.8 million a year, and the number of street scooters could be much smaller.But the threat of scaring off the company persisted, and after further negotiations, the two sides paid a fee per ride.Based on the number of passengers the city provided on Tuesday, charging $0.20 per trip, as the city suggests, would bring in about $530,000 a year.Keep in mind that the seller and vehicle application fees in Dallas are small compared to other cities.Austin charges $30,000 to every scooter operator who applies to enter the city.After the proposed city markup, we will pay $1,000 per operator and $30 per car.
It wants to use the threat of seizure to limit vehicles landing on sidewalks, an outsourced enforcement service.Once someone has identified a stack of scooters, the company is notified and given two hours to stand them up or get them off.Here, third parties should provide assistance that is otherwise difficult to implement.The city said it would also set up about 100 designated scooter parking areas around the city, with "rewards" for users returning to those locations.
And then business hours.On staff's recommendation, scooters will be digitally closed after 11:30 p.m. and before 5 a.m.That could change when a final regulation is submitted to the council -- some council members have suggested matching it with the DART schedule, which runs until midnight.The staff suggested that Deep Ellum would be digitally isolated to allow a more rigorous time range -- electric scooters would not be allowed after 9pm, and speed controls in other areas might be slower.The measures, which would require operators to share real-time data with cities (or suppliers contracted by cities), had appeared to be a sticking point but were discussed on Tuesday.
These timetables have been developed in large part to reduce the increase in the number of injuries, and there are clearly greater risks when it comes to alcohol and extreme traffic congestion.And they are more generous than at least some cities of similar size, such as Denver and Atlanta, stopping at 9 p.m
Finally, to be a last-mile solution for people who ride in DART, you actually need to put these scooters at the DART station, and the city doesn't have many plans to incentivize electric scooter companies to do so.
"I want them to be more aggressive and put their units in bus and train stations throughout the city," said Adam Bazaldua, a member of the South Dallas City Council.