Mayor Jean Stothert has given the okay to launch electric scooters in Omaha. Mayor Stothert signed the resolution to authorize the beginning of the pilot to test the use of Shared Scooters. However, she was concerned about Lime and geofencing.
The Omaha City Council approved the program at their meeting on May 7th. It was set to launch on Friday but Mayor Stothert pulled the plug wanting some questions answered first.
City Prosecutor Matthew Kuhse sent a memorandum to the Mayor's Office clearing up some details regarding city ordinances.
Scooter riders are not subject to DUI charges but they do have to follow the rules of the road including traffic control devices, staying off the sidewalk, yielding to oncoming traffic and signaling turns.
No driver's license is required to operate the scooters and no car insurance is needed.
Mayor Stothert says the geofencing information provided to the City Council was inconsistent with information the City previously received and the conditions of the pilot. Geofencing stops the rider from entering prohibited zones and is required in the City's bid documents and is clearly stated in the contract. Last week, Lime representatives said the company is not prepared to offer that technology yet in Omaha.
That has change and Lime now indicated it will be able to implement the "no-ride zones" by June 14th, prior to the start of the College World Series.
In a release, Mayor Stothert said, "I am disappointed in the mixed messages from Lime and I hope there are no other surprises as we begin the pilot."
Mayor Stothert is also concerned about the agreement riders would have to sign. It is a 20,000 word document and explains safety and use requirements and responsibilities of the rider - including personal liability. She questions whether riders will take time to review that information.
Photo courtesy of 6 News.