Scooter Share Update: All three operators have now launched! Please keep the rules of the road in mind when riding.

From right to left:  LINK, Wheels, and Lime scooters. Photo Credit: LINK, Wheels, and Lime.

Summary


Back in September, we announced the three highest-scoring scooter companies in our scooter share application process: LINK,  Wheels, and Lime.

Our bike and scooter share program gives Seattle residents and visitors another clean, climate-friendly transportation option to reach their essential jobs, take COVID-responsible trips to their local café, get to a grocery store, pick up take-out from local restaurants, or simply get to where people need to get!  


You may have already seen Lime operating around Seattle in the last few months.  


Lime scooters in Seattle. Photo Credit: SDOT Flickr. 

Did you know that Lime also operates the Jump bike share bikes? As part of their scooter launch, they have also expanded the number of bikes available around Seattle, giving people even more environmentally friendly options to get around. 


As part of our efforts to improve transportation in West Seattle, our second operator, LINK, has focused initial deployment of their state-of-the-art e-scooters to the West Seattle peninsula.  


West Seattle residents and visitors can use LINK scooters to get to their essential destinations, explore their neighborhood, or more easily connect to transit.  


Finally, Wheels – the seated scooter vendor – has now launched in Seattle.  


Wheels scooter in front of a sculpture on a sunny day in Seattle. Downtown and the Space Needle can be seen in the background.

Wheels’ unique seated-style scooter is now available for rental in Seattle. These seated devices offer a more accessible option for people with specific needs, have larger wheels, and offer a stable riding position that’s geared towards our city. 

Wheels scooter in Seattle. Photo Credit: Wheels. 

We’re excited to offer scooter share as a healthy and environmentally friendly way to get around! We want the scooter share program to be successful, and to do that we need everyone to follow the rules of the road and park your scooters correctly. 

DO DON’T 
Wear a helmet when riding a bike or scooter.

Wear a mask and remember to wash/sanitize your hands before and after your ride!

Park your scooter at a bike rack or the edge of the sidewalk near the street.

Ride your scooter in bike lanes, multi-use trails, or on streets with speed limits of 25 mph or slower. 
Park your scooter on the sidewalk, at a bus stop, or blocking curb ramps or building entrances.

Ride your scooter on the sidewalk.

Ride your scooter in transit lanes or streets with a speed limit faster than 25 mph.  

For more info on proper riding and parking behavior, please check out the video below from Lime. 

Bikes and scooters blocking sidewalks can cause significant accessibility issues. We’re calling specific attention to the parking rules.  

For bike share and scooter share to work for Seattle, we need to protect everyone using the sidewalk, including people with specific needs for walking and rolling through our city.  

The right way to park your bike or scooterWhen you’re done with a trip, you should either park it next to a bike rack or corral or if on the outer edge of the sidewalk near the street (in line with trash cans, trees, and utility poles). Always leave at least six feet of space clear for people to get by.  

Last year, we created a plan to address the problem of poorly parked bikes and scooters by building more parking spaces, educating people on why it’s so important to park their vehicle correctly, and holding people and companies accountable. This led to a big drop in poor parking, but there’s still more work to do.  

Over the past few years, we have built 3,000 parking spaces for bikes and scooters.  

Our 3,000 additional spaces include finishing the Levy to Move Seattle commitment to build 1,500 bike parking spaces five years ahead of schedule, and then using the money that bike share companies paid the City of Seattle for permits to build another 1,500 parking spaces in 2019. That’s a 35% increase in just five years, and we’re continuing to build more bike and scooter parking spaces.  

We know that most people want to do the right thing but might not realize the right way to park or the harm that they can cause by parking bikes without regard.  

To help get the word out, last year we teamed up with Disability Rights Washington and with Rooted in Rights to create a video showing how real people are affected when bikes are left blocking the sidewalk.   

With scooters here, we’re increasing education and enforcement to help make sure riders understand and follow the parking rules.  

Here’re some steps we’re taking. 

  • We’re requiring each user to take a quick quiz within their first few rides, and then every few months, that helps them understand Seattle’s parking and riding rules.  
  • We’re requiring that people use their cell phones to take a photo of their properly parked bike or scooter before their ride ends. In the future, smartphone apps may be able to determine if the device is properly parked, so in the meantime, we hope it’ll make people more accountable to how they park. 
  • Finally, when our team of bike and scooter auditors find a bike or scooter that is blocking access, we will charge the operators a fee of $20 to the scooter company, and require that the fee be passed along to the last user of that device if they are not on a low-income plan. We hope that once people realize they might face a financial penalty, they’ll take a few extra seconds at the end of a trip to make sure they park responsibly.  

Even so, we must look at the fee vendors issue fairly and with an equity lens. Before passing the fee along, we’ll also require that vendors:

  • Check the trip-end photo to verify that the last user was the one who parked improperly. We’ll waive the fee in those instances where someone else may have moved the bike or scooter. 
  • Issue a warning instead of a fine for each user’s first offense. 
  • Issue a warning instead of a fine to rider’s using a low-income plan (with account suspension after three warnings). 

Bike share and scooter share can be a real option for people to move about the city in a clean way that protects our air, water, and climate, all while reducing congestion. It can give people, including those on low or fixed incomes, a better way to reach the bus or Link Light Rail, more access to their neighborhood centers, or simply a fun way to see the city. Even so, bike and scooter share doesn’t work well for Seattle if it makes transportation more difficult for people with mobility or vision disabilities.   

Please do the right thing and park and ride responsibly!