May 14, 2019

More Electric Scooters On The Way to Harrisonburg

May 14, 2019

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — You've seen them around the city and now, more electric scooters could soon be buzzing around Harrisonburg.According to the City, the scooter company Bolt has received its shared mobility device permit, which allows them to operate in the city.

Wesley Russ, the assistant City Attorney said Bolt is working on a firm launch date but will let the city known when to expect the scooters.

Last fall, electric scooters were quite the talker, as nearly 700 Lime and Bird scooters filled the city.

In February, Harrisonburg City Council adopted ordinances to gain more control of how the scooters are operated.

According to city code, the permit allows up to 100 scooters at launch. Companies share access to certain live tracking data with the city to confirm they are below the maximum allowed.

"Any permit holder can request to increase their maximum 'fleet size' by 25 if they maintain an average of 4 rides per device per day during a three week period," said Russ. "For example, If Bolt starts with 100 scooters and averages more than 400 total rides each day during their first 3 weeks, they can request to increase their fleet size to 125 scooters."

If a permit holder’s fleet averages fewer than one ride per device per day for three weeks, the city may instruct them to decrease their fleet size.

Residents of Harrisonburg hope the new company can operate within the City's regulations.

"Hopefully Bolt has learned from the mistakes that the other companies made when they just showed up all of a sudden and unnerved people," said Natalya Basinger, a Harrisonburg resident. "Hopefully local government and the company have been able to work together to make the transition easier so we're not just tripping over them on the sidewalk, but i do think they're a great idea."