The NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) has announced plans to expand the e-scooter pilot in the eastern Bronx to double the programme’s footprint and offer new micromobility options to more residents.
In less than a year, the pilot’s first phase has seen three e-scooter companies, Bird, Lime and Veo, record more than 480,000 trips in the pilot area without any deaths or serious injuries.
“This administration is committed to reducing our dependency on automobiles and more equitably delivering services across the five boroughs. Our e-scooter pilot in the Bronx has been a remarkable success and we're excited to bring it even more residents in need of alternate forms of transportation. We thank our pilot partners Bird, Lime, and Veo, for sharing our values of safety, affordability, and accessibility.”
Throughout Phase 2 of the pilot, DOT will work with its partners to double the number of available e-scooters from 3,000 to 6,000 while extending the current pilot zone in the northeast Bronx further south. Phase 2 will include neighbourhoods like Parkchester, Castle Hill, Country Club and Throggs Neck to provide connections to additional stops on the 6 train and the NYC Ferry.
The DOT will continue to work with Bird, Lime and Veo to promote safe and responsible e-scooter riding and parking practices, as well continuing to offer discounted pricing options to improve accessibility.
To ensure safe practices, the e-scooter companies are required to hold free, in-person outreach and safety training events in the Bronx each month. All riders are also required to complete in-app safety training and an age verification process. The e-scooters then operate in ‘beginner mode’ for each rider’s first three trips, limiting their speed to 10 mph and preventing them from starting the rides overnight.
“The e-scooter program has proven to be safe and effective for my Bronx constituents. Adding more e-scooters and pilot zones will only transform our borough. I applaud Commissioner Rodriguez for his work to improve the lives of all Bronxites.”
The DOT has also expanded bike infrastructure in the pilot area, installing more dedicated lanes for bikes and e-scooters on White Plains Road and 233rd Street. During the second phase of the pilot, DOT plans to install 10 miles of conventional lanes and is planning to build more cycling infrastructure in the expansion area, including: Eastchester Road and Bronxdale Avenue, as well as extending lanes along White Plains Road.
New Yorkers who qualify for any local, state, or federal assistance programme are eligible for discounted e-scooter rates in the Bronx. The DOT has worked with the three operators to provide options for users to pay with cash instead of a credit card and for users to use e-scooters without a smart phone.
“We're honoured to provide safe, affordable, carbon-free transportation to even more Bronx residents this year. Since launching last summer, tens of thousands of Bronx riders have used Lime e-scooters to traverse neighbourhoods that can be difficult to navigate on public transit. We've also offered thousands of discounted rides through our Lime Access program to ensure income isn't a barrier to sustainable transportation.”
As of early March 2022, 950 unique e-scooter accounts have collectively taken 17,000 rides in the Bronx through discounted pricing services, averaging approximately 20 rides per account. DOT will work with the companies to increase enrolment in these discount programmes during the second phase.
To further the accessibility of micromobility transport options, all operators in the pilot are also required to provide wheelchair-accessible e-scooters in the Bronx trial area.
“Veo's diverse fleet of stand-up and seated scooters has made micromobility welcoming to a broad set of riders in the Bronx. The City's expanded pilot area will help Veo get even more residents where they need to go sustainably and affordably without relying on cars, and we can't wait to work with the DOT and local community to responsibly introduce shared e-scooters to the entire East Bronx this summer!”
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