In Atlanta, the scooters are here to stay — for now

A woman rides a scooter by Piedmont Park in Atlanta on Wednesday, July 18, 2019. (Christina Matacotta/

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A woman rides a scooter by Piedmont Park in Atlanta on Wednesday, July 18, 2019. (Christina Matacotta/

Atlantans have grown used to seeing rentable scooters since they first arrived in the city, seemingly overnight, a few years ago.

Especially popular on the Beltline and around the city’s parks and tourist destinations, the two-wheeled electric devices offered a new way for folks to get around — and presented a challenge to city leaders trying to regulate them.

The city eventually passed a measure in 2019 requiring scooter companies to have a permit, pay fees and provide data about their usage. The numbers of scooters and companies has varied over the years, but there are now approximately 8,000 permitted scooters across three companies, according to the city.

Those permits were set to expire in June, but the City Council voted Monday to extend the existing permits.



The ordinance states that at the discretion of the city’s transportation commissioner, the permits can be extended for up to two years.

The council said it may reconsider its “approach” to scooters and revise the permitting process in that time, but wants to ensure scooters remain available to residents and visitors.

The city cleared scooters from the city’s streets and sidewalks in the early months of the pandemic, but they have seen an uptick in usage since then.

The City Council most recently made significant changes to its scooter regulations in early 2020, following several scooter rider deaths in 2019. The tightened regulations required the scooters to have front and rear lights or reflectors, and mandated that the companies notify riders that they are not permitted on sidewalks, which was an ongoing concern for pedestrians.

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