Mayor seeks extension on Hoboken scooter program

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On Wednesday, Nov. 20, Lime electric scooters will be packed up and taken from city streets as Hoboken’s six-month scooter-sharing pilot program comes to an end. Mayor Ravi Bhalla is seeking an extension of the program from the city council.

“We strive to be leaders in providing sustainable transportation options within our Mile Square that enhance mobility for residents,” said Mayor Ravi Bhalla in a statement Nov. 15. “E-scooters have proven to be a very popular first-mile, last-mile connection for residents to get around our city, and when used responsibly, provide important quality of life improvements for residents. As a city, we’ve gained valuable firsthand knowledge of what has worked with the program, and the safety and enforcement tools that can be improved for a better riding experience for users and nonusers of the program.”

Residents have had concerns with safety and enforcement of the program. Bhalla said he has asked Councilman Michael Russo who chairs the council’s Transportation and Parking Subcommittee, and Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher to convene a working committee with the city’s Director of Transportation Ryan Sharm to come up with short-term and long-term recommendations regarding a potential e-scooter pilot extension and longer-term program.

In August, the city and Lime updated the terms of the pilot agreement to include more revenue for the city to invest in enforcement, education tools, and transportation infrastructure upgrades.

Through this additional revenue in October, the city hired two Micromobility Code Enforcement Officers to enforce city ordinances and regulations pertaining to e-scooters and other mobility devices.

Next week, the results of the comprehensive public survey regarding e-scooters will be provided to the public. More than 2,000 people filled it out. A program evaluation report will also be released to the public.

According to Lime, more than 640,000 trips have been taken within Hoboken by more than 70,000 unique riders during the pilot period.

The next meeting of the Hoboken City Council is Dec. 4 so if an extension is granted, into the December months, Hoboken will be Lime-free for at least two weeks.