Omaha and Lincoln city councils meet to discuss electric scooters

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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) Omaha and Lincoln city council members met Monday to discuss regulations and overall progress with electric scooters.

Omaha is currently in a trial period expected to end on Nov. 15. Lincoln is not currently in a trial period.

Omaha Parking and Mobility Manager Ken Smith said, "The College World Series was a big ticket with visitors and guest coming into town. Within that time we had about 40,000 rides in two weeks."

This makes Lincoln council members intrigued because of travel on game days.

Some Lincoln council members are still worried about safety of people.

Councilman James Michael Bowers said, "We need to be mindful of people's safety, mobility safety and that people who do use these scooters remain safe."

Safety has been an issue with first time riders, according to Smith. He talked about a 9-year-old boy getting hit by a bus while riding a scooter in Omaha.

Other issues with scooters is regulating where they are parked. Councilman Bowers says this affects people walking along the sidewalk.

"We need to make sure Lincoln remains accessible to everyone and regardless of their ability can still move around our city," Bowers said.

Lincoln is in the beginning phases of this project as they still need to create a selection committee to choose three scooter companies.

Interim Lincoln Transportation and Utilities Director Tom Casady said a trial period is expected to be complete by the end of 2020.