The Atlanta City Council appears to be on the cusp of imposing regulations for how dockless, shareable vehicles are used. Because, let’s face it, the handy two-wheelers—largely operated by companies Bird and Lime—have taken Atlanta streets by storm.
While many patrons are politely taking the vehicles down bike lanes en route to work, others are zipping passed people on sidewalks, leaving them in front of wheelchair ramps and doorways, and, in some cases, just mangling the scooters for the heck of it.
As the city council mulls ways to regulate parking and operations, and considers putting a cap on how many Birds or Lime scooters can be in a company’s fleet, it seems that, in Atlanta and beyond, it’s becoming easier and easier to access the rides.
In July, rideshare giant Uber announced it had partnered with Lime to integrate scooter rental into its phone app.
Now, in Atlanta, people with the Uber app can toggle a drop-down menu to change from “ride” [in a car] to “scooter,” which then shows bright green blips wherever the personal vehicles can be found nearby.
(From my home, as of this writing, I can spot roughly a dozen Lime scooters on the Uber app within what I consider walking distance.)
Additionally—although this isn’t yet an option in Atlanta—Bird announced in October it was launching a scooter delivery service; so that, rather than hoofing it to the nearest scooter during a morning commute, people can arrange for someone to drop one off at their home.
In related news, Bird announced this week that, for a nominal fee, entrepreneurs can manage their own fleet of scooters, according to Tech Crunch.
To the chagrin of people overwhelmed by scooter mania, it will take until at least mid-January before the Atlanta City Council approves any shareable vehicle-related legislation.
That is, if city leaders pass the proposal on to the full council after the upcoming December 6 work session.