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New E-Scooter Sharing Pilot Program Launched In East Bronx

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- It's official. Electric scooters are hitting the road in the Bronx.

A new pilot program launched in part of the borough on Tuesday. CBS2's Jenna DeAngelis has more on how the scooter sharing program works.

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A new mode of transportation is rolling out, with 3,000 e-scooters up for grabs.

"I think it's a great addition to this area. It's something I've never done," one Pelham Parkway resident said.

Until now. The resident is taking part in the program, which is being led by the city Department of Transportation and three e-scooter companies.

Bronx e-scooter map
(Photo: NYC DOT)

"One thing the Bronx has suffered from is transit deserts and lack of connectivity when it comes to transit. Adding e-scooters into the mix really gives people that many more options," said Phil Jones, senior director of government relations for Lime.

They all work similarly: download an app, scan a bar code, and for $1, the scooter unlocks. Depending on the brand, its 30 to 39 cents per minute, moving at maximum of 15 mph.

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"You'll start the scooter after taking a safety tutorial in app, also of course reminding you to wear a helmet and the rules of the road and also a safety quiz that you have to pass," said Sam Cooper, senior manager of government partnerships for Bird.

Helmets are not included with the scooters, but anyone can request a free one on Bird's website.

"In New York City, the first three trips that any user takes on any one of the companies' vehicles will be limited to 10 mph and can't take place after dark," added Alex Keating, the director of public policy and partnerships for Veo.

Riders can only be in bike lanes or along streets -- not on sidewalks.

DeAngelis put on a helmet and took each one for a spin. She started with a Lime and then hopped on a Bird, and also took a Veo for a spin. All three are available for riders in the East Bronx.

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The program has revving up some mixed reviews.

"In the Bronx and outside Manhattan is pretty good, but in Manhattan it's too dangerous," Bronx resident Diana Sarbu said.

"It's a good opportunity to expand the non-automobile travel," Sharon Behnke said.

"That's dangerous," another woman added.

NYPD data shows more than 1,000 crashes with injuries involving motorized vehicles, not​ including cars or motorcycles, this year citywide, including 30 in the Bronx.

All three companies said safety is the priority.

While helmets are strongly recommended, they are not required or provided with each scooter, so grab one before you go.

A second phase, next year, will expand to more Bronx neighborhoods and add thousands more scooters.


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