Scooters roll back downtown as part of permanent program

E-scooters are here to stay in Lincoln.
Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 10:31 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - First, it was a test run and the city said it went so well electric scooters are now here to stay.

Some people love them, others not so much. But regardless of how you feel Tuesday launched a new and permanent form of transportation to zip around town.

It’s been 10 months since the streets of Lincoln have been dotted with e-scooters. The move to make them a fixture comes with a change in city code, on the heels of feedback from the public. This go around, you’ll now be able to ride longer and go further.

For some, like Johnny Boutmahavong, it’s a highly anticipated return.

“We’re so glad they brought this back because we were thinking for so long that this wasn’t going to be here,” Boutmahavong said.

After a 16-month pilot program that spanned late 2020 through May of last year, the scooters are back.

During that span the Scooter LNK tracked more than 91,000 trips, on average each lasted about 12 minutes. All in all, the city made about $13,700 in rider fees.

Roberto Partida is a city traffic engineer, Tuesday he touted the scooters’ environmental impact or lack thereof.

“It’s directly contributing to the Lincoln Climate Action Plan and de-carbonizing our transportation system,” Partida said.

The new permanent program also allows for a wider range of travel, you can go from downtown Lincoln to areas like the Telegraph District, and other places outside of downtown to the south and east.

“It’s exciting when they make improvements and now you’re able to go a little further,” said one Lincoln rider. “It just adds more versatility to the scooters when you’re trying to go different places and you can’t always do that on the scooters and now you can.” Denham Free said.

One of the biggest concerns opponents had of the scooters when they first hit the streets was safety and sidewalk use. You must be 18 or older to ride, have a valid form of ID, and remember you can’t ride on the sidewalks downtown.

Right now, Lime is the only company currently operating scooters here in Lincoln. A second option is set t come online next spring.

As for how many they’ll get to drop off here, each company is allowed 250 scooters in total.