On September 9, 2020, the Tucson City council voted to extend the city’s electric scooter pilot program for an additional six months. This decision comes even as officials express concerns regarding the rising COVID-19 cases among college students.
The pilot program was originally extended through September 11, but it was significantly affected by the pandemic. According to the Arizona Daily Star, rides between March and August decreased by 82 percent. Because of that, Tucson officials need more time to assess the benefits and issues associated with implement the e-scooter program on a long-term basis.
Even though the city council voted to extend the program, not everyone is on board with the decision. Council Member Steve Kozachik expressed concerns regarding the expansion: “We just had 30,000 UA students return to the area, bars that sell food are back open, and COVID is now a known hot spot around campus. Allowing scooters to continue operating while we’re so concerned about community spread that we’re not even opening outdoor swimming pools makes no sense. The mayor and council should have shown some consistency and at least put a hold on this pilot program until COVID calms down.”
In response to the pandemic, e-scooter companies have taken different approaches in Tucson. Bird temporarily suspended operations in March and has yet to re-launch its service. Razor, however, has continued operations and implemented enhanced cleaning of scooter surfaces. In addition to that, Razor has offered free scooter trips for essential workers and adjusted its sick leave policies for staff.
Since the city implemented the program last September, it has collected over $77,000 in application fees. The Department of Transportation and Mobility recommends using the revenue to install preferred parking locations and improving infrastructure to create safer places for people to ride electric vehicles.
If you’ve been injured in an e-scooter accident, you may have grounds for a personal injury claim. At the Rideshare Law Group, we recognize that negligent drivers cause accidents and injuries every day. We believe those individuals should be held accountable for their actions and victims deserve compensation for their losses. Contact us today to learn more.