E-scooter legalization stalls in New York, but New Jersey offers roadmap

Lime
electric scooters in Hoboken, New Jersey. | Gary Hershorn/Getty
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What can NYC learn from Hoboken’s e-scooter program?

New York City is still waiting on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign a
bill that would legalize electric scooters, but across the Hudson,
residents of Hoboken, New Jersey are calling on officials to extend
the city’s e-scooter share program after a popular pilot,
according to new data released by Hoboken’s Department of
Transportation and Parking.

State legislation overwhelmingly passed by lawmakers in Albany
in June would bring electric scooters to the five
boroughs—technically, four; the legislation prohibits scooter
shares from Manhattan—but is stalled in the state Senate at
Cuomo’s request. That hasn’t stopped cities from across New
York
from preparing for the motorized, two-wheelers
with Rochester,
Yonkers, and Ithaca making moves to welcome the scooters.

A mere mile away from Manhattan in Hoboken, the first city in
New Jersey to allow riders to rent e-scooters, officials are
assessing the results of its six-months pilot program and offering
lessons for those preparing to embark along similar paths.

More than 673,000 trips were taken during the Hoboken pilot with
a median six minute ride on the Ojo and Lime operated scooters. A
survey released by Hoboken on November 25 showed that, overall,
users reported driving less, taking fewer taxis trips, and scaling
back on their ride hail app use during the rental program. Of the
2,100 people who participated between October 23 and November 10,
64 percent of those surveyed said e-scooters made it easier to get
around, 73 percent said the two wheelers helped connect them to
public transit, and 74.5 percent said they wanted the e-scooter
sharing program to continue or continue with improvements.

But the scooters have also drawn criticism about the
recklessness of some riders who roll on sidewalks or while drunk;
the latter would be illegal in New York. Others cite piles of
scooters haphazardly tossed on sidewalks, parks, and plazas.

So how could New York City learn from this? When it comes to
crafting a smoother roll out, of those who participated in the
recent survey, 68 percent to be exact, said they agreed or strongly
agreed that e-scooters should be better regulated and 60 percent
want to see better enforcement. Most riders said they preferred to
cruise on city streets, but 88 percent said they would feel safer
riding in protect bikes lanes, and 55 percent said safe
infrastructure would encourage them to ride more often. Overall, 44
percent of those who responded said they would like to see safe
infrastructure in place for future programs.

An official study of the pilot, commissioned by Hoboken, is
currently underway, and the city has also issued a request for
information from micro-mobility companies for a new e-scooter
sharing program.

The future is less clear for the two wheelers in New York. Once
the bills are formally sent to Cuomo, he will have 10 business days
to sign or veto the legislation. If sent within the last 10 days of
the year, the bill could be signed, vetoed, or effectively vetoed
if left unsigned after a review period of 30 days. The City Council
would still need to pass it own,
already-introduced
, legislation to legalize the e-scooter share
systems if Cuomo signs the bill.

Source: FS – NYC Real Estate
E-scooter legalization stalls in New York, but New Jersey offers roadmap