Electric scooters invade Fort Lauderdale

Lime, Bird and Bolt giver riders options

By Ian Margol - Reporter

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - In early November, hundreds of dockless electric scooters popped up all over Fort Lauderdale.

City commissioners unanimously passed an ordinance to use the "dock-less mobility units" in July. Officials hope the electric scooters that are now parked on street corners will offer a transportation alternative.

"The idea was to take cars off the street and still allow people to move from one side of the city to the next," Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis said. "It has been very successful in terms of people using them and we’re excited about it."

Riders like Bogdan Laptev, who works in Fort Lauderdale, have options. Lime, Bird and Bolt are the three companies that are providing more than a thousand scooters in the area. Most of the scooters cost a dollar to unlock, and then a couple of cents per minute of use. 

"I thought that was a cool idea," Laptev said. "I saw them a couple of days ago and always wanted to try it."

Laptev first had to download the app on his phone, walk up to the scooter to scan the code and go. Once Laptev arrived at his destination, he parked the scooter and used the app to lock it.

Time will tell if there will be any challenges in Fort Lauderdale. Other cities around the country have reported people using the scooters were piling them up on sidewalks, running into dogs, speeding and texting. 

According to the general manager of Lime in Florida, Jed Fluxman, they have been massively successful so far.

"We have almost had about 15,000 riders in Fort Lauderdale alone," Fluxman said. "And that is about 50,000 miles traveled."

 

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