New York begins East Bronx e-scooter pilot Leave a comment

The New York City Department of Transportation (DoT) has confirmed Bird, Lime and Veo are taking part in an electric scooter pilot in the East Bronx area. 

The pilot is entering a phase in which the DoT and the three companies will work with local communities to site e-scooter parking corrals and educate the public about the pilot, including its safety, equity and accessibility components. 

The e-scooters are expected to offer a new shared mobility option in phase one of the pilot zone, which includes neighbourhoods from Eastchester and Co-op City to Morris Park. In 2022, phase two will consist of neighbourhoods farther south, such as Throggs Neck and Soundview.

In total, the DoT describes the zone as an 18-square-mile area home to a population of 570,000 residents, including 25,000 New York City Housing Authority residents.

The pilot is estimated to initially bring up to 3,000 e-scooters to the East Bronx during phase one with an increase to as many as 6,000 in the second phase. The zone was designed to not overlap with Bronx neighbourhoods targeted by Citi Bike as part of the bike-share company’s current expansion plan.

This Spring, the three micromobility firms will give presentations to elected officials and community boards, establish a helmet giveaway or discount helmet purchase programme and engage with the disability community on accessible options. 

Veo and Bird will charge riders $1 to unlock e-scooters and $0.39 to per minute while Lime’s service will cost $1 to unlock and $0.30 per minute. 

All three companies will provide discounted pricing for low-income New Yorkers enrolled in federal and state assistance programs.

By early summer, e-scooters are anticipated to be on the streets of the pilot’s phase one area.

The DoT is hoping to use the phased roll-out to test a variety of strategies to manage pavement clutter, including dedicated parking corrals and using real-time e-scooter data to ensure parking compliance.

The department will complete an evaluation of the pilot that will examine usage, trip patterns, safety, e-scooter parking behaviour and system accessibility. 

It will also evaluate how well the pilot is providing equitable coverage across the entire pilot zone. Some safety and accessibility features include in-app safety tests for new riders, voluntary socially distanced in-person lessons and a rider accountability policy to prevent underage riding. 

Near the end of the pilot, DoT will issue a legally mandated report that will include agency recommendations.

Additionally, the DoT has previewed several bike lane projects for the pilot zone, including protected bike lanes planned for White Plains Road and Bronxdale Avenue.

New conventional bicycle lanes are also planned this year for the phase one area along East 233rd Street and Eastchester Road with more major improvements slated for 2022 in the phase one and two areas of the pilot zone.

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