Nearly one month after the launch of a new e-scooter program in the city, companies are seeing significant usage of their service.

Bird, a Miami-based micromobility company, reported nearly 8,000 rides were taken in a June 14 news release. The report came two weeks after the city of Dallas relaunched its scooter program in full May 31. Officials from Bird, one of the three e-scooter providers along with Lime and Superpedestrian, added that nearly 70% of its riders through the first two weeks were repeat customers.

After the city pulled its original e-scooter program in 2020 citing public safety concerns because of noncompliant riders with the previous dockless vehicle ordinance, Dallas officials plan to evaluate the new program every 90 days, based on previous reporting by Community Impact.

“We are thrilled to see so many loyal Bird customers in Dallas once again turning to e-scooters for fun, efficient and environmentally friendly ways to get around their community," Bird President Stewart Lyons said in the news release.

The context

As part of the city’s program guidelines, Bird has placed 500 e-scooters within Dallas in an effort to provide more transportation options in congested areas, such as Deep Ellum, downtown and as a connector between Dallas Area Rapid Transit stations and a final destination, the news release said.

Per city regulations, the program will permit vendors on a one-year basis. Riders who incorrectly park their scooter will receive a $20 fine, while those with moving violations face a fine up to $200.

Riders will be allowed to ride the scooters between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m. at no more than 20 mph, unless it is in a “Slow-Ride Zone,” where the speed limit is 10 mph. Scooters are not allowed on trails, roads with a speed limit over 35 mph and sidewalks. The city has published a map detailing the various zones.

Also of note

Lime, a San Francisco-based transportation company, has also deployed a fleet of scooters in Dallas. Lime spokesperson Jacob Tugendrajch said the company’s ridership has eclipsed figures from June 2020.

Quote of note: “We were excited to come back to Dallas because we know micromobility can succeed here, and we're thrilled with the results of the first month of the program,” Tugendrajch said. “It's been safe for all road users, ridership is strong, and people are getting better at parking and understanding the rules of the road every day.”

He said complaints have been minimal, with very few serious incidents involving the company’s scooters. Community Impact reached out to the city of Dallas but received no response.

Going forward

To avoid some of the pitfalls from the previous program, information provided by the city indicates Bird, Lime and Superpedestrian are only able to provide an initial 500 e-scooters each until certain performance marks are met. The next permitting cycle—which only allows three operators—is set to begin in February.

If the companies currently providing scooters in the city meet performance benchmarks for number of trips per day or average fewer than eight incidents per day, they may add up to 250 more scooters. The city’s program caps the number of provided scooters at 1,250 per operator.