Electric scooters return to Portland on Friday.
Portland debuted a four-month e-scooter pilot program last year. It resulted in people taking more than 700,000 rides, according to a report from the Portland Bureau of Transportation.
Now, PBOT is returning scooters to city streets for a year-long program beginning Friday.
The companies involved in this newest pilot program are Bolt, Lime and Spin.
Four additional companies — Clevr Mobility, Jump, Razor USA and Shared Technologies, Inc. — are still submitting information for permits. They may also launch fleets in the next few weeks.
Companies will initially be allowed up to 2,500 scooters total in Portland. Although, by January, there could be up to 15,000 scooters available.
The biggest concerns that came out of the 2018 pilot were issues like illegal sidewalk riding and incorrect scooter parking — especially for people with disabilities. That’s something this new program is looking to address, said Dylan Rivera, PBOT’s public information officer.
“We heard loud and clear from people with disabilities … that illegal scooter use on sidewalks and irresponsible parking were a big problem for people who depend on mobility devices,” Rivera said. “What we’re going to do is step up enforcement.”
Enforcement will mostly be through the scooter companies themselves.
PBOT officials have plans monitor sidewalks, document incidences of illegal activity and report back to the companies.
“The companies will provide warnings and potentially fines to e-scooter riders,” Rivera said.
The fine for riding on a sidewalk is $50; the fine for parking illegally is $15. Repeat offenders could have a 30-day account suspension.
PBOT will be monitoring and auditing each company for compliance, Rivera said.
Companies will also be required to use geo-fencing technology to prevent people from parking their scooters in Tom McCall Waterfront Park.
“The first pilot program we did in 2018 was very worthwhile, it demonstrated a lot of community use and support, but it also demonstrated a lot of conflicts and challenges,” Rivera said. “So we’ll really be testing them throughout the year — and especially the behavior of people riding and parking the scooters.”