Almost 600 complaints about rental scooters have been lodged with the City of Dallas since it reintroduced the motorized vehicles after a two-year ban.
The Shared Dockless Vehicle Program relaunched on May 31, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.
To address various prior complaints about the scooters, the City instituted a series of rules and restrictions with the new phase of the program. Riders who violate those restrictions can be fined up to $200.
Despite these new rules, the City has fielded over 550 complaints to 311 since the new program began.
Transportation Director Ghassan Khankarli confirmed to The Dallas Express that the City has received 574 service requests since May.
However, he added that “it is still too early to do a reliable assessment of the program.”
“We expect to see service requests and will continue to monitor them for trends,” he said in a statement. “We encourage vendors and users to observe program rules and are pleased to see people choosing scooters as a transportation option.”
Baylor Scott & White (BSW) Medical Center in downtown Dallas records rental-scooter-related injuries.
BSW orthopedic trauma surgeon Dr. Alan Jones told WFAA that his team has already seen several injured patients and performed multiple surgeries.
“Some of those have been significant injuries requiring emergency surgery and hospitalization,” he said. “The first thing our trauma team members said: we should start holding some places in the surgery schedule for scooter injuries.”
Jones explained that many of the injured were people who did not expect the scooters to go as fast as they did.
According to Apollo, a company that manufactures electric scooters, some models can go up to 30 mph. Dallas’ riding restrictions include a city-wide speed limit of 20 mph for electric scooters and e-bikes.
“If you’re going to use an electric scooter, then I would advise learning how to use it beforehand,” Jones said.
Before the City’s previous ban on electric scooter rentals, BSW recorded 322 emergency room visits and 55 hospitalizations due to scooter-related injuries between July 2018 and September 2019. One man, 24-year-old Jacoby Stoneking, was killed in September 2018 while riding a scooter.
According to WFAA, such injuries cost patients $1.4 million at BSW from 2018 to 2019, of which $491,000 was uninsured trauma costs.
Taxpayers might be on the hook for part of that amount because the federal government often uses public funds to reimburse healthcare providers for expenses incurred by uninsured patients.