KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — The City of Knoxville launched an electric scooter pilot program Wednesday with the first of two companies selected through a competitive process.
The two companies selected for the electric scooter pilot project in Knoxville are Zagster, partnering with Spin, and VeoRide. Spin is launching at the end of March 2019, according to the city.
The program is for a one-year pilot, which can be renewed. The city, or the companies, may end the pilot with 30 days’ notice.
Both companies are the first electric scooter-sharing companies to provide services following a moratorium that allowed city officials time to review best practices and provide some guidance for a program.
“We have taken our time to learn from other cities and feel we have selected two companies that will be flexible and responsive to the needs of Knoxville,” said Mayor Madeline Rogero.
Initially, the electric scooters will be staged across downtown and major residential and commercial corridors.
“We’ve seen amazing success with Pace Bike Share and anticipate scooters to be welcomed by our community with similar excitement,” said Kim Bumpas, President of Visit Knoxville.
Per the pilot program rules and City ordinances, electric scooters must be ridden in the streets and are not allowed on sidewalks or greenways. Electric scooters will be treated similarly to bicycles ridden on city roads.
The scooters can be ridden on many downtown streets, but not currently on Market Square, Cumberland Avenue, or Henley Bridge.
The Spin App provides users with a map of areas where electric scooters are allowed.
If a rider approaches the border of the approved area, the scooter will provide a warning to turn around or change direction or slow to a stop.
Riders must be 18 years of age, or 13-17 with adult permission and supervision. A valid identification indicating age will be required to rent a scooter.
Scooters can travel at a maximum of 15 mph, but speeds may be lowered or restricted remotely based on special events.
Availability is 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily and dependent on the weather and events. Rain, or the threat of rain, may make rentals unavailable.
According to the city's release, the scooters should be parked upright and out of the way of pedestrians or moving vehicles. Users are encouraged to park scooters adjacent to Pace bike stations or public bicycle racks.
The companies are responsible for moving, recharging and restaging the scooters throughout the day.
Individuals who misuse a scooter or park the scooter in a position that impedes pedestrian, bicycle, or motor vehicle traffic may be fined or ticketed.
The pilot program is for one year, which can be renewed. The city, or the companies, may end the pilot agreement with 30 days’ notice.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I find a scooter?
The first thing you will want to do is to download the apps, Spin and VeoRide. When you have the app loaded with your credit card information, you will be ready to engage an electric scooter. The app will provide locations of scooters and the map where scooters are permitted.
How much are scooters to rent?
Approximately, $1.00 plus 15 cents a minute. So if you were to rent a scooter for one hour, the cost would be $10.00. The prices may vary with time and companies.
Where can scooters be ridden?
Electric scooters must be ridden in the streets. They are not allowed on sidewalks or greenways. Electric scooters are treated similar to bicycles under City ordinances.
How far can I go on the scooter?
The scooters can be ridden on downtown streets, but not on Market Square, Cumberland Avenue, or the Henley Bridge. The app provides a map area where scooters can be ridden. If you approach the border of the area, your scooter will give you a verbal warning to turn around or change direction.
How old do I have to be to ride a scooter?
Eighteen (18) years of age; 13-17 with adult’s consent/identification. You must have a valid identification to rent a scooter.
How fast can an electric scooter go?
Electric scooters can only travel at 15 mph. This speed can, and may, be reduced during special events.
What times are scooters available?
Generally, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. This time is subject to change based on special events.
What other factors impact when electric scooters are available?
If it is raining, or there is a strong chance of rain in the forecast, electric scooters will not be available.
How many scooters are available?
Initially, 250 electric scooters will be available. This number will increase with the launch of the second company in the coming months and may change due to demand.
Where should I park my scooter when I am finished?
You can park a scooter adjacent to the rental bicycle holding area, PACE, or park it where a bicycle could be safely parked. Please do not lay it across the sidewalk or road. Rather, park the scooter upright and out of the way of pedestrians and moving vehicles.
What if I have problems with my scooter?
There is a customer service number on the scooter.
How do I report a complaint about a scooter?
If you need to make a complaint about a scooter, you can use the app or call the phone number on the scooter.
Can I be fined for using my scooter inappropriately?
Yes, you may be fined for leaving your scooter in a position that impedes pedestrian, bicycle, or motor vehicle traffic or other misuse. You may also be fined and ticketed for not complying with traffic rules and regulations.