The Portland Bureau of Transportation announced a second pilot program Tuesday after a report found more than half of Portlanders have a positive view of the scooters. A start date for the program, which will last a full year, has yet to be set.
The report found Portlanders used the scooters as an alternative to driving. It also identified problems with the scooters, including problems for Parks and Recreation staff and scooter parking issues.
Still, the scooters are just as dangerous as any form of transportation, according to the report, and people preferred riding in areas with safe, scooter-friendly infrastructure.
“After reviewing emergency department and urgent care clinic data, we found that e-scooters have risks similar to other parts of the transportation system,” said Environmental Health Director Jae Douglas in a press release. “We did not find a disproportionate risk that would discourage the city from allowing a scooter ride-share pilot.”
Thirty-four percent of riders say they rode scooters instead of driving or relying on a ride-sharing service. The scooters were also found to have negatively impacted accessibility on some sidewalks, and that riders did not appear to have been aware of some key rules.
E-scooter companies also did not comply with equity requirements in East Portland, a point of particular concern for City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly.
“While this technology has the potential to reduce congestion and pollution, I remain concerned about the unlawful use of e-scooters on sidewalks and in city parks, and the impact of e-scooters on people with mobility challenges or vision impairment,” Eudaly said. “We will continue to seek public input on how to best serve all Portlanders.”
Lime, an e-scooter provider, said its excited to get scooters back to Portland.
“We intend to re-launch operations in Portland as soon as we are allowed to do so, and Lime remains committed to safety, access and the environment both here and across the globe,” said Jeremy Nelson, Lime’s general manager in Oregon.