Scooter-sharing launches in another NJ city
ELIZABETH — A third city in New Jersey is up and running with an electric scooter sharing program.
Mayor Chris Bollwage said 150 GPS-enabled scooters rolled out this past Friday as part of a six-month pilot program with Lime. If there aren't many problems, and residents appear to like the micromobility option, the number of scooters could go up to 400 sometime next year.
With a dock-free model, scooters are placed throughout the city in high-density areas with plenty of foot traffic, such as shopping centers and transportation hubs. Users scan a QR code on the scooter with their smartphone in order to unlock the vehicle; that costs $1, and then riders pay 20 cents a minute thereafter.
"They're to be used on city streets, pay attention to all traffic signals, they can be issued summonses," Bollwage said.
The city earns 10 cents per ride. The rest goes to Lime, which also has scooters moving in Hoboken.
"Over the past six months we've had well over 500,000 trips," Lime's Brett Swanson said of Hoboken operations.
Lime has a presence in over 120 cities worldwide, Swanson said.
"We have seen every age and every demographic using our scooters," he said. "We are trying to have as ubiquitous a presence as possible in New Jersey."
From August 2 to September 2 of this year, the first month of a pilot program in Asbury Park, the city saw more than 15,000 trips by 5,806 unique riders, according to city data. Asbury Park is teamed up with Zagster and Spin, which surveyed registered users and found that less than half are Asbury Park residents. The median trip distance was about half a mile during that month.
Asbury Park's pilot period ends June 2020.
New Brunswick may soon get rolling with a program as well, according to Tapinto.net. City Council in October adopted an ordinance that sets rules on the use of electric scooters, including a fine for riding on the sidewalk, the site said.
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