Dallas Gets Ready to Bring Back Scooters


Two girls ride electric scooters | Image by Shutterstock

Electric scooters might be making a comeback in Dallas if a new proposal gets approved by the city council.

New guidelines for e-scooter share programs could pave the way for providers to reenter the market after almost two years in exile.

Councilman Omar Narvaez, chair of the transportation and infrastructure committee, put together a working group of city residents, business owners, and officials to fashion a plan for their return, as reported by The Dallas Express.

The proposal suggests capping the number of units in operation, limiting the speed at which they can travel, and setting up specific pickup and drop-off locations to prevent pile-ups.

“What happened last time is that scooter companies did not follow the guidelines and the rules they helped create,” said Narvaez, per WFAA. “That gives a lot of pause for people. We just didn’t regulate well enough the first go around.”

Improved technology could play a significant role this time. Narvaez’s working group recommended operators enforce “geofencing,” whereby e-scooters would be remotely slowed down or deactivated in certain places, sidewalks, for instance.

Riders could also be made to take a picture of where they leave their e-scooter and send it to the operator under penalty of an upcharge or account suspension.

“It’s very important that we have the ability, if firms are not abiding by what they’re supposed to do, or if riders are not, to have better ways to pull back,” said Stephanie Hudiburg of the Deep Ellum Foundation, speaking with The Dallas Morning News.

E-scooters first appeared en masse in 2018. At first, they teased an accessible and affordable convenience to thousands of Dallasites, especially those without cars. However, it was not long before the public soured on the experiment.

Residents complained about the e-scooters becoming a public nuisance at best and a full-blown health hazard at worst. Scofflaws dismounted at their convenience and dropped the e-scooters on the sidewalk or in the street.

Additionally, city hospitals started to notice an uptick in e-scooter-related injuries.

By September 2020, the shine had worn off, and the city council moved to ban e-scooter share programs.

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