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Lime Scooters Coming to Rochester

July 18, 2019 05:45 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- It’s official – the City of Rochester is zooming forward with electric scooters.

“We’re looking at piloting from August to November the use of electric scooters,” said Deputy City Administrator Aaron Parrish.

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The target date for the 100 Lime scooters to drop is just around the corner – August 1st.

“The trip I kind of see this helping fill, or the gap is maybe someone’s hopping in their car to run downtown or a mile or tow away, maybe these scooters could help fill that need,” said Kevin Bright, Energy and Sustainability Director for DMC’s Economic Development Agency and the City of Rochester.

Conversations with Lime began back in May, and the scooters fit hand-in-hand with the city’s push to find creative ways to reduce vehicle traffic downtown.

“What we’re really doing is replacing an electric ride on a scooter with possibly someone hopping in their car for that same trip,” Bright said.

Instead of waiting for the scooters to appear essentially overnight, Rochester is choosing to talk about what to expect before they pop op on the streets in just a couple weeks.

“I think it’s important to note at this point, given our current ordinances, we don’t have the ability to say ‘no’ that they can’t come to Rochester, so this is really a fortunate thing,” Parrish said.

The scooters came to Minneapolis last summer.

“We chose to instead of react negatively, to use it as an opportunity to kind of embrace what they were, build on the framework that we had, and kind of mold scooters to fit our transportation goals,” said Josh Johnson, Advanced Mobility Manager for the City of Minneapolis.

While scooters have posed challenges for cities, whether it be where they’re dropped off or where, people can use them, it’s shifted Minneapolis into a greener gear.

“I think the popularity that we’ve seen thus far, we’ve been averaging this year about 4,000 trips a day,” Johnson said.

The city hopes Lime’s launch will be a benefit to the wide range of people who are in Rochester every day.

“Community members that want to make short trips around, but also people visiting the city that also want to experience the trail system,” Bright said.

The City is asking City Council to support Lime’s arrival at their scheduled meeting on July 22, where officials say they’ll  fine-tune the city’s agreement with the company.

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