ST. LOUIS – St. Louis city officials are considering a new plan to regulate the usage of scooters and electric bikes next year.
Organizers released a permit update Thursday afternoon for St. Louis “Shared Bike and Scooter Program.” It comes after city officials banned the use of electric scooters in Downtown St. Louis and the Downtown West neighborhood last summer.
The city previously halted scooter operations in June over what St. Louis Director of Public Safety Dan Isom described as “a string of public safety incidents.” Residents had complained of fights and violence coupled with large gatherings of juveniles.
The proposed permit would pave way for the return of shared electrical bikes and scooters in Downtown St. Louis, though it calls for a 300-vehicle cap. There would also be a nighttime curfew in effect from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.
Other policies in the works, according to a draft of the permit from the St. Louis Mayor’s Office, include:
- Reducing e-scooter speed to 12mph citywide from the current 15mph to improve safety for riders. E-scooter speed will be reduced to 10 mph in some commercial zones and parks.
- No “group ride” feature by limiting users to one unlocked scooter per account
- Age restrictions to prevent those 18 and under from unlocking vehicles
- Enhanced accessibility rules, including additional regulations and clarification on scooter staging and parking
- Smaller total fleet size, from 2,500 to 1,500, with neighborhood-by-neighborhood caps on vehicles
“Our administration continues working to provide alternative, affordable microtransit options for St. Louis communities,” said Nick Desideri, communications director for the mayor’s office. “Based on several years of experience with shared bikes and scooters, as well as review of policies in other cities, this permit process incorporated feedback from community members, city departments, and operating companies.”
Dan Pistor, vice-chair of the St. Louis Downtown Neighborhood Association, told FOX 2 last summer he was optimistic that curfews and more enforcement could help prevent previous trends of violence.
The permit awaits review from the board of public service on January 3.