Springfield could see shared-use electric scooters as early as this summer

A Spin electric scooter rests outside Panera Bread on Jasper Street in Dayton on Tuesday. The City of Springfield is in talks with a company that wishes to bring those scooters to downtown Springfield. JIM NOELKER/STAFF
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A Spin electric scooter rests outside Panera Bread on Jasper Street in Dayton on Tuesday. The City of Springfield is in talks with a company that wishes to bring those scooters to downtown Springfield. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

Credit: JIM NOELKER

Credit: JIM NOELKER

The City of Springfield is in discussions with a company that wants to bring electric scooters downtown.

That move would mirror a popular trend in surrounding areas such as Dayton and Columbus. The scooters would be rented and located in designated areas in downtown Springfield.

City officials did not name the company they are in discussions with regarding the scooters. But Logan Cobbs, the assistant to the city manager, said talks started late last year.

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There is no set date as to when those scooter services would be in the downtown area. However, Cobbs said residents could see them as early as this summer.

She added that the city would not charge those companies who wish to offer those services in the area.

Other cities have seen business from electric scooter providers in recent years. Those scooters are usually activated and paid for by using a mobile phone app.

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A company could bring electric scooters similar to these to downtown Springfield. STAFF

A company could bring electric scooters similar to these to downtown Springfield. STAFF
Caption
A company could bring electric scooters similar to these to downtown Springfield. STAFF

There are usually designated drop off areas in those cities that offer shared scooter services. Those areas allow a spot for riders to leave the scooters when they are done using them.

“The designated area has not yet been determined, but would be focused primarily in our downtown and surrounding areas,” Cobbs said in regards to if those shared-use scooters come to Springfield.

The city is also in the process of adding a chapter to its codified ordinances to establish rules and regulations governing the operation of shared electric scooters and their providers within city limits.

“We wanted to ensure that these mobility sharing systems are consistent with the safety and well-being of our citizens,” Cobbs said.

Springfield city commissioners will be asked to vote on adding that chapter at their next public meeting on June 8.

If passed, any business that seeks to operate a shared electric scooter program within Springfield would have to first enter into an Electric Scooter Use agreement with the city.

It would also highlight rules and regulations regarding the operation of those scooters including where those scooters could be located and dropped off.

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Those rules and regulations determined by the city would also define what constitutes an electric scooter.

That term is used to describe a device that weighs less than 150 pounds, has handle bars, an electric motor and two wheels, with one being in the front and the other being in the back.

Cobbs said that the chapter would detail scooter classification, enforcement, requirements, parking as well as violations.

She added that those scooters would not be allowed to be parked in transit zones, loading docks, parking zones or street curbs.

“There are specific places for these to be parked. On the curb of the side walk is a great example,” Cobbs said.

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