Rental electric scooters make their return to Dallas
DALLAS - Electric scooters are now back on the streets of Dallas after a three-year break.
FOX 4 spoke to all three scooter companies for the soft launch.
Right now, it’s going to be just the three companies with 1,500 scooters on the streets to start, which is a fraction of what there was a few years ago.
The city of Dallas is working to go from an unlimited model to a tightly regulated model this time around.
Kat Wiseman parked in Downtown Dallas and was pleasantly surprised to see new Lime scooters sitting on the sidewalk.
"We were surprised. We didn’t know they were back," she said.
Instead of walking from the West End to Victory Park, she and her friend re-downloaded the app.
"Trying to get the feel for them again," she added.
Electronic scooters have made their return to Dallas after a three-year break.
Wednesday was the soft launch, with clusters of scooters scattered across the city.
Next week is the official launch with all 1,500 rentals available for use.
"I remember them being kind of all over of the place and not maintained very well," Wiseman said.
Dallas has partnered with three companies, Lime, Bird, and Superpedestrian, who hope their past reputation will not haunt the future of scooters in Dallas.
In 2020, the city banned them after just two years due to safety and oversight concerns.
"All I would say is give us a chance to show how different we are now," said Jacob Tugendrajch, Lime communications director. "Our industry is only 5-6 years old, and that was three years ago. That’s a lifetime for us."
The new scooters come with new restrictions.
They will only be available from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The max speed will be 20 miles per hour, but in slow ride zones, like Deep Ellum and Bishop Arts, the speed limit will be reduced to 10.
"Technology has come a long way in this interim period," said Austin Marshburn, senior director of government partnerships for Bird.
Scooters will not be allowed to be used at all public parks, walking trails, and plazas.
Plus, Marshburn said riders will be remotely monitored.
Riders must leave scooters in designated areas and then submit a photo in the app.
If they don’t, they will be fined.
"Make sure that we are educating, re-educating, and potentially kicking people out of the service when they don’t follow the rules in place," he explained.
"We weren’t here when scooters were falling out of the sky. We take our responsibility very seriously," said Jacob Mandel, with Superpedestrian.
Superpedestrian is new to Dallas, and believes this will be a fresh start for returning customers.
"It should be good. I feel like they will be better this time around," Nathan Kola said.
Or brand-new riders.
"It was super easy. I just scanned the code. My card connected and it was cheap," Cameron Hope said.
The city’s non-emergency 311 line is now live for anyone to report any scooter issues.