Scooter Share

Updated: August 21, 2019

What's New

On August 21st, we announced the start of a robust public engagement process to build a community - driven electric scooter share pilot program, planned for launch as early as Spring 2020. The first phase works with stakeholders groups to help shape the goals, scope, and scale of scooter share in Seattle. Check back here, where in the next week or two we will post more opportunities to engage. In the meantime if you have questions, comments, contact us at scootershare@seattle.gov.

We look forward to engaging with you, Seattle. 

Overview 

Scooter share emerged in late 2017 as a new mobility service in the United States. Today, scooter share programs operate in cities all over the US, with pilot programs as close as Tacoma, Everett, Bothell, and Redmond. In those cities, scooter share tends to operate much like our free-floating bikeshare system - people rent the nearest scooter using a smart-phone application, ride to their destination, and leave the scooter in the closest appropriate location. We want our program to be community lead. By launching with an inclusive public engagement process, we'll develop a scooter share program that works well for Seattle. 

Currently, we're working with stakeholders and community groups to co-create a scooter share pilot that offers new mobility options while maintaining sidewalk comfort and the safety of pedestrians, people who are blind or low-vision, and people living with disabilities. We're exploring whether e-scooter riding should be allowed on sidewalks, in bike lanes, or general travel lanes. We are aware that enforcement disproportionately impacts communities of color, so we want to find a solution that works for all Seattleites. 

Program Process & Timeline

We're conducting an outreach and engagement throughout the the three phases to developing our pilot program. There are benefits to scooters in Seattle, particularly given their potential to replace driving trips. But we also know those opportunities may not be equitably distributed, and there may be unintended consequences for specific communities. By working the Pedestrian Advisory Board, Transit Advisory Board, and Bike Advisory Board, and organizations focused on disability rights and transportation equity, Center City community groups, neighborhood groups, and community groups representing a high proportion of people of color they can help shape the goals, scope and scale of scooter share in Seattle.

Phase 1 (Q3: 2019) - Outreach and Engagement - Pilot Goals, Scope, and Scale. Conduct Environmental review finalize pilot framework. Phase 2 (Q4: 2019) - Q1 2020) - Outreach and Engagement - Permit features. Finalize permit. Post permit applications.  Phase 3 (Q1/Q2: 2020) - Outreach and Engagement - Observations and Experiences. Launch Scooter Pilot Program Ongoing Monitoring and Evaluation. Schedule subject to change.

Project Library

1. How many scooters are going to be part of the pilot? Where are they going to be allowed to go?
These are questions we'll engage the community on before we decide the scale and scope of the program (e.g., citywide, specific neighborhoods, downtown only, number of scooters available, where they should be allowed, etc.).

2. Are scooters going to be allowed to ride in bike lanes or on the sidewalk?
Recent state laws give the City the authority to make this decision. Again, this is a topic where we want community input.

3. What is a scooter anyway?
Scooters are two- or three-wheeled vehicles that were further defined by recent Washington State law. The technology is rapidly evolving. We'll work with companies to understand what's expected to be available in 2020 and work with the community to understand what types of scooters meet their needs.

4. Are scooters and bikes going to be managed together?
We'll update our bike share permit requirements and issue new permits in 2020. Scooter share will have a separate permit process, which is starting now with this listening and engagement period. Doing so means we can shape permit requirements to meet community needs, identify opportunities and address concerns, particularly for people who are blind or low-vision, and people living with disabilities.

5. Where will scooters be allowed to park?
We've added over 700 parking spaces for bike share, personal bicycles and eventually shared scooters throughout Seattle this year. Our goal is to have 1,500 spots by the end of 2019. Parking requirements for the 2020 scooter program will be determined after our first phase of outreach and informed by what we hear from community members.

6. Why is this process so long?
This timeline allows us to have a robust engagement process, learn the lessons of other cities with scooter programs, conduct an environmental review of the impact of scooters, and design and issue the permit, so we develop a community-driven program that works well for Seattle.