Electric Scooters Could Soon Hit Lexington Streets, Leaders Push for Regulations

Electric scooters are popping up in more and more U.S. cities—and they could hit the streets of Lexington as early as next month.

Right now, Spin corners the Lexington two-wheeler market with its dockless rental bikes. However, once that pilot program ends July 1, scooter companies could swoop in.

The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council is working to put regulations in place as soon as possible. City leaders have concerns a flood of motorized scooters would strain resources and threaten public safety.

“Nashville is a good example,” said District 12 Councilwoman Kathy Plomin. “They just said there’s just too many accidents. It’s not the same as a bike. There’s been too many accidents. It’s taken up too much of our police time.”

The council voted Tuesday to move forward with an ordinance that would set licensing for scooters and bike companies, restrict where those vehicles can go and allow the city to fine companies that don’t comply.

“The perception may be 11th hour but it simply is not,” said Scott Thompson from the Metropolitan Planning Organization. “We’ve worked at this diligently for a year and we’re continuing to work at it … and plan to have this ready so that, if and when the ordinance does pass, we can let companies start applying for licenses and we can regulate it appropriately to protect the public right-of-way and to protect the public safety.”

The ordinance would allow up to five companies to operate in Lexington with an initial cap of 400 vehicles. Human-powered pedal bikes would not be counted in that total, a change made to encourage companies to provide them.

A first reading of the proposed ordinance is set for Thursday. A final vote is scheduled June 20.

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