Electric Scooters in Atlanta: A Timeline of Their Arrival
Atlanta, the bustling capital city of Georgia, saw the arrival of electric scooters in 2018, when companies like Bird and Lime first set up shop in the city. Since then, the scooter-sharing industry has continued to grow, benefitting city commuters and tourists alike. Let's take a closer look at the timeline of electric scooters in Atlanta, how they have changed the transportation landscape, and what the future may hold for this mode of eco-friendly transport.
It was in May 2018 that the first electric scooter company, Bird, launched its services in Atlanta. The Santa Monica-based company deployed hundreds of their dockless, rechargeable scooters and allowed riders to rent them out through a mobile app. Shortly after, Lime, another prominent e-scooter company, entered the Atlanta market in June 2018.
The electric scooter boom in Atlanta came in response to the city's increasing traffic congestion and need for alternative transportation options. This mode of transportation, which can reach speeds of up to 15 miles per hour (24 km/h), has been particularly popular among professionals commuting to-and-from work and tourists on a city exploration.
However, the arrival of electric scooters in Atlanta also raised some concerns about safety and public space management. Like many other urban areas, Atlanta had to adapt fairly quickly to this new trend in transportation, working on creating proper regulation to address ridership, parking, and safety issues.
In January 2019, the Atlanta City Council passed legislation aimed at regulating and permitting electric scooter companies. The new set of rules required companies to pay a fee to the city for each scooter deployed, mandated proper parking, and set forth speed restrictions in certain areas.
Moreover, as additional modes of micro-mobility entered the Atlanta market, like electric bikes, the city reviewed and updated existing regulations to accommodate these new electric transportation options.
Electric scooters have undeniably revolutionized urban commuting in Atlanta. As the city looks forward to the future of transportation, it is essential for both the city and electric scooter companies to work together to ensure not only the promotion of these eco-friendly transportation options but also their safe and responsible operation.