Residents of Oakland will most likely see thousands of rentable e-scooters on their streets summer of 2019. According to a July press release, Oakland’s DOT has agreed to work with four scooter companies on implementing more e-scooters into the city as safely as possible.
In total, there will be no more than 3,500 e-scooters in Oakland at the start of this permitted program. Lime, Lyft, and Bird are each allowed to place 1,000 e-scooters in Oakland. Clevr can place 500 e-scooters on Oakland’s streets at the start of its program.
Each of these e-scooter operators will also have to comply with many safety standards set by Oakland DOT. For starters, Oakland requires businesses to host educational seminars that help riders understand how to safely ride these new devices. Every company must also show they are able to adequately handle insurance and indemnification issues.
All four companies are now in the OAK 311 system to help residents easily report e-scooter safety violations. City representatives encourage anyone who sees e-scooters in hazardous areas to send pictures directly to company execs via the OAK 311 app.
In addition to safety, Oakland DOT wants e-scooter operators to make their devices as accessible as possible. This includes placing e-scooters in economically disadvantaged areas and providing micro-mobility options for disabled residents.
Local representatives also said they would like most of the e-scooters to be concentrated in West and East Oakland. In recent years, many commuters have complained about a lack of transportation options in these areas of the city.
Overall, city leaders are optimistic e-scooters will improve the city’s transportation system. They also believe this deliberate permitting process will minimize potential safety risks.
In anticipation of these new e-scooters, Oakland residents should download the city’s free OAK 311 app to report safety issues. Locals could learn more about the city’s e-scooter policies by reading through this FAQ page created by the City of Oakland.
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