Springfield establishes rules for shared-use electric scooters

Downtown could see them in use as early as this summer.



Springfield City Commissioners approved an ordinance Tuesday evening that establishes rules and regulations governing the operation of shared-use electric scooters within the city.

The legislation added a chapter to the city’s codified ordinances that is related to shared-use electric scooters as well as what providers of those services must do in order to operate in Springfield.

Those rules and regulations were approved by the majority of city commissioners during their most recent public meeting. Springfield commissioner Kevin O’Neill voted no on the ordinance Tuesday evening.

The legislation states that any business that seeks to operate a shared electric scooter program in Springfield would have to first enter into an Electric Scooter Use agreement with the city.

Through that agreement, the city and the interested party would discuss and determine where in Springfield those scooters would be located, where customers are allowed to ride those scooters as well as how much those services would cost riders.

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.

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

Rules and regulations determined by the City of Springfield and approved by commissioners also define what constitutes an electric scooter as well as where scooters could be dropped off.

An electric scooter is defined by the city as 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.

Those scooters would not be allowed to be parked in transit zones, loading docks, parking zones or street curbs.

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

Cobbs said those scooters would likely be located and operated in downtown Springfield and that area could see those scooters as early as this summer.

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