Local News

Oakland, Lime, launch e-scooter pilot program for riders with disabilities

By January 12, 2020 No Comments
Oakland officials said the pilot program features a Lime e-scooter intended for riders who are not comfortable or unable to stand for a long time or have limited capacity for walking. (Photo courtesy of the city of Oakland)

The Oakland Department of Transportation and shared-mobility service provider Lime have launched the first-ever e-scooter pilot program for riders with disabilities.

Oakland officials said the pilot program features an e-scooter intended for riders who are not comfortable or unable to stand for a long time or have limited capacity for walking.

They said the program will make it easier for Oakland residents with disabilities to travel and commute to work and home.

“I helped found Oakland’s first-ever Department of Transportation because our community deserves dedicated leadership and innovation making our city safer and easier to travel — for every single Oaklander,” Mayor Libby Schaaf said in a statement Jan. 8.

Schaaf said, “Tens of thousands of Oaklanders manage disabilities every day. This program is an exciting step forward in our work to better serve them, expanding access to new shared mobility options that make getting from Point A to Point B that much more affordable or convenient.”

Oakland City Council President Rebecca Kaplan said, “I am pleased we were able to write and pass a law in Oakland to allow scooters, with responsible regulations to serve the needs of our community.”

Kaplan said, “We don’t have to choose between a ban and chaos — we can have a permitted scooter system and include regulations to prevent negative impacts and ensure public access.”

Department of Transportation Director Ryan Russo said his department “will closely monitor this program to help ensure it meets the needs of our community and succeeds and grows over time.”

Frank Sperling, the vice chair of the Mayor’s Commission on Persons with Disabilities, said, “I applaud Lime and the city of Oakland for creating this exciting new pilot program for persons with limited mobility or disabilities.”

Sperling said, “The Bay Area is the cradle of innovation. As technology continues to advance and makes our lives easier, it’s imperative that people with disabilities benefit and are included in all the successes.”

EV Ellington, the Bay Area general manager for Lime, which is based in San Francisco, said, “Lime’s mission has always been to empower communities and residents with green, safe, and affordable transportation options.”

Ellington said, “We are excited to expand our service to riders with disabilities that deserve access to the benefits of this new technology. We are pleased to roll out our first-in-the-nation adaptive pilot program in Oakland, a city long known for leadership in both equity and accessibility.”

Oakland officials said people interested in using the program will be able to reserve an adaptive e-scooter in advance using an online reservation process through the Lime app, and Lime will deliver it directly to them.

Rentals will be for a 24-hour period and the customer can use the adaptive vehicle at their convenience.

The cost of using the adaptive e-scooter is $32 for a 24-hour rental and includes a 50-percent discount for registered low-income Lime Access users.

The e-scooter’s top speed is 15 mph and its maximum range is 11.7 miles.