The 90 day pilot project with the City of Everett and Lime scooters is about a third of the way in and during a briefing to the Everett City Council there was one overriding theme. More education is needed. Johnathan Hopkins of Lime Northwest told the council that performance of the program has exceeded expectations. Just last week Lime doubled the number of scooters in Everett, Washington from 100 to 200.
In the first three months of the program Hopkins reported 28,000 rides by more than 2700 riders. He also offered examples of educational efforts in other cities that included marking the sidewalks as no ride areas, adding identification numbers to the Lime scooters so violators could be more easily tracked or reported and shared an example of how one jurisdiction had police officers on scooters as a very visual reminder and demonstration of how scooters should be operated.
Julio Cortez from the City’s communications department reported on challenges the city still faced including how to address other companies who may want to also provide scooters in Everett, what changes may be needed in city codes and he also reported that so far there have been 4 collisions, 3 that resulted in injuries and 3 tickets had been issued.
Everett Police Chief Dan Templeman told the council that the police department was taking an educational approach to scooter violations and that the most common theme reported by officers who contacted scooter riders about violations was a “vast lack of knowledge” on the rules.
Templeman did confirm when asked by the council about the current law in Everett that yes, helmets are required for scooters. Multiple council members and the Mayor mentioned a need for more communication on the rules and their desire to see the pilot program continue.
After the pilot concludes around Labor Day the city thinks it should have a good idea of how to move forward on rules, education and adoption of scooters as another means of transportation in Everett.