City council approves first steps for dockless electric scooters in Fort Wayne

Fort Wayne's city council approved changes to a bicycle ordinance creating the foundation of a pilot program to help regulate scooters as they come to the Summit City.

Posted: Apr. 23, 2019 10:29 PM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - Dockless electric scooters are coming to Fort Wayne this summer.

Fort Wayne's city council approved changes to a bicycle ordinance creating the foundation of a pilot program to help regulate scooters as they come to the Summit City.

Those regulations would include where the scooters can be parked, how they are charged, any fines assessed among others.

Companies would also need a permit to opperate in the city.

Initially, the pilot program would be for a year and a half and city planners said they would limit the number of permits.

Fort Wayne city council members, including Russ Jehl, are concerned the scooters will litter the streets.

"If it unsightly like Indianapolis is, scooters strewn everywhere, it looks like a yard sale, I want to make sure we can cut the pilot contract short," Jehl said.

Councilman Paul Ensley shared those concerns and amended the proposal so city council will have to approve the pilot program and the companies participating.

"This is a new technology, we are taking a cautious approach with extra oversight as things get rolling," Ensley said.

He felt the oversight was necessary after council couldn't do much of anything when Red River Waste Solutions failed to meet trash collection standards for 10 months in 2018.

"I think the community has realized we need to be much careful about the contracts we enter into as a city and have some recourse if things don't go according to plan," Ensley said.

The pilot program will run through two riding seasons.

Once that is up, city council will have to approve a permanent program if they feel it works.

The city said the scooters will primarily be downtown in the surrounding neighborhoods.

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