Scooter Share

Updated: October 24, 2019

What's New

In August, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) began a three-phased outreach and engagement process to help shape Seattle's scooter share pilot program, which is planned to launch in Spring 2020. Since then, SDOT has engaged with groups that represent people with disabilities, diverse and low-income populations, other government agencies, as well as bike and pedestrian advocacy groups.

Now, we have two opportunities for you to weigh in.  Join us on Oct. 30, between 6 - 8 PM at a public forum held at City Hall. 

This event is an opportunity to learn about the upcoming scooter pilot and talk with representatives SDOT and the scooter industry. The forum will explore topics like safety, parking, accessibility, and national best practices. Attendees will also have the opportunity to view scooters.

The other way to share your thoughts is to take our online survey by November 15:  

English Survey

Amharic (አማርኛ) Survey

Chinese (中文) Survey

Korean (한국어 )Survey

Somali (Soomaali) Survey

Spanish (Español) Survey

Vietnamese (Tiếng Việt) Survey   

Your feedback will inform our outreach as we move into the next phases of planning our scooter pilot program!

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-led. 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.