Scooter Share

Updated: September 17, 2020

What's New

Scooters are launching soon! We have received approvals from City Council to proceed with a scooter share pilot program and expect our 3 highest-scoring scooter share applicants to launch by October. Read on for more information about Seattle's scooter share pilot and how to ride safely and responsibly.

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 created our program to be community-led. By leading with an inclusive public engagement process, we've developed a scooter share program that works well for Seattle.

How do I Rent a Scooter?

You will see three different types of scooters on the streets during our pilot program duration. Each is available for rental through a smartphone application by the company labelled on the scooter (see below for cash payment & non-smartphone rental options).  

To rent a scooter: 

  1. Download the appropriate app:
    • Lime (black/green standing scooters): iOS | Android
    • Pending permit issuance
    • Pending permit issuance
  2. If you receive subsidized rent, discounted utilities, or receive nutritional assistance (e.g. SNAP) you likely qualify for rides at a reduced fare. See the links below to sign up for each Vendor's program to save on rides:
    • Apply for Lime Access (Five free 30-minute rides per day. Additional time at 50% off)
    • Pending permit issuance
    • Pending permit issuance
  3. Find a scooter and you're (safely) off! 

If you're new to scooter share you might notice your first ride is capped at 8mph. This limit is in place to let new users get a hang for riding these devices at a slower and more manageable speed.

Rules of the Road

Scooters can be a fun new way to get around, but they come with some new rules to help us all stay safe as we get around the city. Here are the most important ones to keep in mind as you get your scoots in: 

  • Helmets Required 
  • Ride in Bike Lanes or Trails, when available
  • No Sidewalk Riding
    • Unless a section of Bike Lane/Trail routes onto the sidewalk (e.g. Fremont Bridge). Yield to pedestrians on these stretches.
  • No Riding on Streets over 25mph or in bus lanes
  • No Riding in No-Ride Zones
    • These are areas that SDOT has determined to be unsuitable for scooter use. Riding into a no-ride zone will slow your scooter to a stop; it will begin working again when you leave the no-ride zone.
  • Park Appropriately
    • Park at a bike rack, bike corral, or near the curb on the sidewalk if it isn't a load zone. See "Where Can I Park?" below for more details. 

Rules for Parks

Scooters use can present additional challenges and potential damage to our parks and greenspaces. To help protect our parks please observe the following rules:

  • No Riding in Parks: Riding of e-scooters is only allowed on multi-use trails and roads within parks - please do not ride on park sidewalks, trails, or pathways
  • No Parking inside of Parks: Park the scooter in a paved area outside of the park when you arrive so that it's easily available for the next rider.

Where Can I Park?

Badly parked scooters can cause problems for people getting around on our sidewalks, especially if they're rolling in a wheelchair, our navigating with the help of a cane. Do your part and park your scooter in an appropriate, out of the way location at the end of your ride.

  • Park at a bike rack, bike corral, or in the landscaping/furniture zone of a sidewalk (the part with trees, poles, and other fixtures, towards the curb)
  • Leave at least six feet clear for pedestrians to pass
  • Do not park in a no-park zone. These are areas that SDOT has determined to be unsuitable for parking and will be highlighted in the rental application at the end of your ride
  • Do not park at bus stops or on corners/intersections, driveways,or curb ramps.
  • Do not block access to buildings, benches, parking pay stations, fire hydrants, etc.
  • Park the scooter upright
  • Do the right thing - don't park in somebody else's way, and don't hide the scooter somewhere the next user can't find it
  • Check out this parking diagram from our bike share program to better understand where you can and cannot park - these rules apply to scooters as well 

Questions or Comments? 

If a scooter is improperly parked or needs maintenance, please let us know by reporting it through our online web portal (select "Bike or Scooter Share Issue" from the list on the left) or by phone at (206)684-ROAD. We immediately forward these reports to our micromobility partners for a quick response. 

If you are involved in a collision with an injury and need emergency assistance, dial 911. File a collision report online with the Washington State Patrol - reports can also be filed for less serious collisions that do not require a 911 response. Report the collision to the company you were renting from and let them know if the scooter needs to be repaired or removed from service. 

If you are a scooter share company and have questions or are interested in obtaining a permit please contact the SDOT Scooter Share Program at scootershare@seattle.gov. Residents with questions and comments may also email  scootershare@seattle.gov.  

Project Library

Public Forum Content

Please find the materials from the October 2019 Scooter Share Public Forum below:

Scooter Share Presentation

Scooter Share Public Forum Video Recording

Scooter Share Transcript of Video

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.

  • Seattle City Council Transportation and Utilities Committee (August 19, 2020)
    • CB 119867: AN ORDINANCE relating to the City's traffic code; amending Sections 11.46.010 and 11.46.020 of the Seattle Municipal Code to revise permissible areas of operation in the right-of-way and other public pathways for electric personal assistive mobility devices and motorized foot scooters.
    • CB 119868: AN ORDINANCE relating to use of City right-of-way by free-floating scooters; amending Section 15.17.005 of the Seattle Municipal Code; adopting a Free-Floating Scooter Share Program Fee Schedule; and ratifying and confirming certain prior acts.
    • Presentation