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Scooter Rentals Begin

Pilot transportation option will be evaluated

Danny Peterson | 8/1/2018, 2:06 p.m.
Two companies were allowed to set up shop for their app-based scooter services last week thanks to permits from the ...
A local man gets a free helmet and scooter riding lesson at Pioneer Courthouse Square, downtown, after Bird, one of two electronic scooter companies permitted to set up shop in Portland, introduced the service on Thursday. Photo by Danny Peterson

Electronic scooters have officially hit the pavement in Portland.

Two companies were allowed to set up shop for their app-based scooter services last week thanks to permits from the Portland Bureau of Transportation as part of a pilot program to test the compatibility of e-scooters in the city.

The motorized e-scooters are rented with credit cards through an app on a smart phone. They are electronically locked when not in use, and left docked on the street for the next customer. The companies re-charge them each night.

The two firms, Skip and Bird, each charge a $1 flat fee and 15 cents per minute, but offer their own features.

Skip was the first company to incorporate a “tip-over detection,” which notifies them when a vehicle is laid sideways and obstructing pathways so they can collect and move them, the company’s CEO Sanjay Dastoor told the Portland Observer. Bird offers to waive the $1 flat fee to people receiving state or federal assistance

E-scooters are meant to alleviate transportation needs by providing a new, affordable and environmentally friendly option to get people to their destinations.

The city prohibits riding the scooters on sidewalks, in public parking structures, or without a valid driver’s license. As per city requirements, the scooters are designed to go no higher than 15 miles per hour. Helmets and keeping scooters clear of walkways are also required.

PBOT said it will evaluate whether to continue to allow e-scooters at the end of the pilot period in November.