YAKIMA, WA- Electric scooters like the ones in Spokane or Seattle may be on their way to Downtown Yakima.
Electric scooter companies Lime and Bird have approached the City of Yakima to start a pilot program to get E-Scooters in Downtown Yakima.
A representative for Lime says this can help with economic development.
“A lot of the benefits of shared scooters include for tourism. Helping people discover the great aspects of the community that they wouldn’t otherwise find. The hidden gems in the community,” said Jonathan Hopkins, Lime Representative.
City council members are excited about the opportunity but want to keep safety and liability concerns in mind.
City Councilmember, Brad Hill said, “Every time I hear about these scooters it’s usually because my friends gets drunk and break their heads in Nashville or something like that and so who’s liable if that happens in Yakima?”
Yakima City Attorney, Sara Watkins says the scooter company is usually liable for injuries on the scooter itself.
However, the city could be liable depending on the road conditions including cracks in sidewalks, potholes, and lighting.
“The city would really have to look at the conditions of the locations that the scooters are going to be used. To make sure that our streets are not dangerous for those scooters before we allow the pilot program project to go forward,” said Watkins.
Before the program starts the city manager has to put together a Request For Proposal that will address all safety concerns.
It’s not clear when the electric scooters pilot program will launch in Downtown Yakima.