Metro Council votes to reduce number of scooters

Posted at 9:11 PM, Jul 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-17 19:52:27-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Controversial electric scooters are starting to disappear from streets in Nashville, and soon, even more may be going away.

The Metro Council voted on a bill Tuesday night that would cut the overall number of scooters on Nashville streets in half. The bill was sponsored by Council Members Russ Pulley, Tanaka Vercher, and Anthony Davis.

“What we’ve done is put some common sense things in place to put some responsibility on operators to help us here,” said Pulley.

The bill would also create so-called “slow zones” in downtown, and "no ride zones" on greenways and Metro parks, except for paved streets.
The bill would also restrict scooters from being used after 10 p.m. on weekdays and 11 p.m. on weekends and holidays.

Two full-time employees per 100 scooters would be required from each scooter company to address any complaints or concerns. Operators would also be required to fund an American Disabilities Act complaint hotline.

Council Member Pulley said scooters serve a purpose, but this bill gives the city a chance to put some steep restrictions in place and see how the operators respond. After the situation is evaluated, a new selection process would authorize up to three companies to operate in the city, if they meet certain requirements.

Officials with Walk Bike Nashville said their research shows between May of 2018 and May of 2019, scooters were used in Nashville 1.85 million times. They believe scooters are an important form of transportation, but agreed safety needs to be a priority.

“We think this bill is a good compromise at addressing some of the challenges we see, but making sure people still have transportation options to get around the city,” said Nora Kern, Executive Director of Walk Bike Nashville.

Prior to a vote by the Metro Council, some scooter companies have already voluntarily reduced the number of devices on the streets.

To read all of the rules laid out in the plan, click here.