Atlanta to release scooter survey results, changes to legislation

A bill that passed the Senate Transportation Committee Tuesday would let local governments decide rules for e-scooters. (ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer

Credit: Alyssa Pointer

Residents curious about the future of electric scooters in Atlanta can learn more at an open house Wednesday when city officials will release the results of a scooter survey and might discuss tweaks to its scooter rules.

Last year, the city conducted a five-minute online survey asking people everything from why they use a scooter (if they use them at all), how they feel about scooter rider behavior, and what changes need to be made to make the devices successful in Atlanta.

Preliminary findings released last year revealed of the 2,640 people who took the survey, 82% think scooters should be an option for Atlantans.

Many also said they don’t feel safe riding them on Atlanta’s streets and that there aren’t enough dedicated bike and scooter lanes.

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The survey is part of the city’s efforts to rewrite scooter its scooter guidelines, which could mean limiting the number of scooter companies allowed to operate in the city. There are now five scooter companies operating in the city with a combined 6,200 scooters.

Atlanta began regulating scooters in January 2019, six months after scooters were launched in the city. Since then, there have been four scooter-related deaths.

Following the deaths, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms instituted a nighttime ban and prohibited the city from issuing additional permits to scooter companies.

Last year, the city began aggressively impounding and charging the rental companies a fee to retrieve scooters riders discarded improperly on sidewalks. An Atlanta Journal-Constitution report revealed the city failed to collect at least $200,000 in scooter impound fees. The high impound fees and limited riding ban led Lime scooters to leave the city last month. Lyft and Gotcha left in 2019. Another transportation alternative, Uber's JUMP e-bikes, pulled the plug in September.

The scooter open house will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at 999 Peachtree Street on the fifth floor conference room.