Dallas May See Return of Electric Scooters by June 1st
After being banned in 2020, dockless vehicles like e-scooters and bikes are set to return to the streets of Dallas next month. The vehicles were previously prohibited due to concerns of safety and quality-of-life. The temporary suspension of the shared dockless vehicle program was due to complaints of piled up rented scooters, accidents, and unregulated curfews. Since then, the city of Dallas has been working to bring back the dockless vehicles, but its return has been delayed several times.
Assistant City Manager Robert M. Perez confirmed the relaunch of Dallas’ shared dockless vehicle program has now been planned for June 1st. The relaunch was expected to happen in the first quarter of this year, then in October 2022, but has yet to happen. The delay reportedly was due to the finalization of a contract with a data vendor, as multiple departments had to ensure the safety and accountability of dockless operators.
Meanwhile, city staff has been busy with several aspects of the renewed program. They are working on updates to 311 service requests and trying to identify locations where the first vehicle corrals can be placed in the downtown area and Deep Ellum. They are also working with vendors to finalize the new rules for dockless vehicles.
One local attorney, Sean Buckley, has been vocal about his disappointment with the delay of the program’s relaunch. He often uses dockless vehicles to go around the city, and he is anxious for the program to resume. Buckley believes that the City Council may have had a role in the delay since the scooters’ temporary removal coincided with election season.
The new rules for dockless vehicles in Dallas will limit the program to three operators, namely, Bird, Lime, and Superpedestrian. None of the operators can have more than 500 scooters in the city. However, operators who meet the requirements and receive few complaints may increase their fleet by 250 vehicles every three months.
Representatives from Bird and Lime expressed their enthusiasm for the program’s return and stated that they have worked with the city to address the concerns the previous program had. The companies expect the program to be more organized and tidy and aim to implement safety measures.
Buckley is hopeful that the dockless vehicles can make a comeback soon since they are a more convenient form of micro-mobility that benefits the environment as well. He hopes the regulations capping the number of scooters and regulating their disbursement across the city does not limit their operation.