If you have ventured downtown or midtown in Kansas City, you probably have noticed electric scooters on the streets.
Kansas Citians got their first introduction to dockless scooters earlier this summer when Bird came to town. Recently, Kansas City doubled the availability of dockless scooters by entering into an interim agreement with a second company, Lime.
If you have not already ridden one, you can try one out by downloading the Bird or Lime app on your phone. The app allows you to find a scooter nearby that you can unlock and then ride to your destination. When finished, the scooter does not need to be returned to a dock like the city’s bikeshare program but can be left by a bike rack or curb.
The cost to unlock a Lime or Bird scooter is $1, and you can ride one for 15 cents per minute. They top out at about 15 mph, which from personal experience – is plenty fast.
Dockless scooters are touted by their providers as a solution to the “last-mile problem” – the last mile from a bus or transit stop to a home or place of work.
Riders must be 18 years or older and hold a driver’s license. Riders should wear a helmet and ride in the street – not on the sidewalk. Revenue sharing provided by the companies will create funds to help build more and better bike lanes citywide.
The popularity of dockless scooters continues to grow in cities nationwide but not without controversy as cities struggle to regulate the new industry. Area hospitals have reported an increase in scooter-related injuries, including fractures, facial injuries, and even traumatic brain injuries. KCPD has stated that they may start ticketing riders who misuse scooters or fail to follow traffic signals.
The interim operating agreement with Kansas City allows the scooter companies to do business in Kansas City while city staff develops a pilot program. Data from both companies will help the city decide potential long-term policy and ordinance changes. This allows Kansas City to be open for business for all innovative transportation companies and still take a measured approach to implementation. In the meantime, if you enjoy riding these scooters, please use a helmet, ride with caution and follow all traffic laws.
If you or your loved one experienced a injury while riding a scooter that was caused by the fault or negligence of another, you should consult with an experienced injury attorney. Our Kansas City injury firm stands ready to assist you. Please give us a call at 816-203-0143, or fill out the form below. We are happy to help you as we have helped countless others, whether it is simply answering your questions or providing a free, confidential consultation.