Scooter share program introduced to Sioux Falls city council

Downtown electric scooters
Downtown electric scooters
Updated: Jun. 1, 2021 at 10:17 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - They’ve gained popularity in major cities over the last few years and now you could be seeing them in downtown Sioux Falls.

Electric scooters could soon be another option for pedestrians to get around downtown as early as this summer.

Some common companies you might recognize include “Bird” and “Lime” that operate scooter share programs.

Legislation was passed this year to make electric scooters legal in the state. Tuesday night was the first reading at the Sioux Falls city council meeting.

“We want this to be basically a pilot program to say, ‘Hey, what does 15 scooters look like? What does 30 scooters look like in DTSF?’” Sioux Falls City councilor Alex Jensen said.

The ordinance is being supported by city councilors Alex Jensen and Christine Erickson and it details not only how the scooters would work, “They have an app on their phone and they will be able to reserve a scooter right off of the app and away they go,” said DTSF President Joe Bacheller.

But also how they would be regulated, like restricting speed and where scooters have access to ride in the downtown area.

“They are all geo-fenced, or geo-tracked so we between Philips Avenue on 10th and 11th street, we don’t want these scooters where there’s a lot of traffic so we will not allow these commercial motor scooters on those areas. So, we can control these and really fit it to our downtown,” said Jensen.

Another concern is that the scooters would litter the sidewalks, making it difficult for pedestrians to navigate.

“The other thing that people would say is that these are littered throughout the city. We don’t want that. There are designated parking areas that these operators are going to have to look at and partner with private companies to park these on their property and potentially with the parks department on some of our property,” said Jensen.

Downtown Sioux Falls says they aren’t necessarily for or against the idea, rather assisting in introducing the idea.

“We’re just trying to connect people and provide information so that this can be done in the right way. I think it might be an example for Sioux Falls to demonstrate to other cities across the country how to do it right. So, I’m cautiously optimistic,” said Bacheller.

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