While e-scooters are currently off Cincinnati streets because of the coronavirus pandemic, the city is currently working on contracts with two companies for when stay-at-home orders are lifted.
According to a memo from the city manager, Bird and Lime submitted the best proposals for providing e-scooter services in Cincinnati. Both companies had been operating under interim agreements—which are set to expire June 30.
Prior to officially signing the companies on, the city is asking Bird and Lyft to do a better job monitoring scooter use. They’re also asking for better rider education on parking and riding rules. According to the memo, “We have learned that a prerequisite for safe ridership and safe parking is ensuring that scooter riders are informed about the ‘dos and don’ts’ of scooter riding. Moving forward, both riders and vendors will bear the major responsibility for ensuring compliance with safe riding and parking requirements.”
To encourage those requests, the city is encouraging Bird and Lime representatives to meet periodically with community members. The city is also looking for ways to limit the cost associated with the scooters. This will involve technological controls to monitor user conformity with rental agreement operational provision. The city also plans to track public reporting of bad behavior, how parking areas are used, and where geofencing restricts usage.
The city’s requests and plans come after a number of e-scooter accidents happened once the vehicles were introduced. For example, a rider crashed into a heavy grill and a restaurant owner. While the owner did not report the incident to the police, it was captured on video by a security camera. The accident happened while the e-scooter user was riding on the sidewalk—an action that’s not allowed in Cincinnati.
It is currently not clear when e-scooters will return to Cincinnati. Lime pulled its scooters from city streets on March 17. Bird followed suit the next day. E-scooter availability will likely depend on how the COVID-19 pandemic spreads and whether current actions mitigate the spread.
While e-scooters offer a budget-friendly and convenient way to get around town, they have the potential to be dangerous when negligence is involved. If you’ve been involved in an electric scooter accident and believe someone else is to blame for your injuries, contact the Rideshare Law Group. We can look into your situation, determine what you’re owed, and help you file a claim to seek compensation.