• Michelle

Electric Scooters Coming to Provo

Updated: Jul 31, 2019

If you’ve been to Salt Lake City, St. George, or Ogden recently, you’ve probably seen them: people on rentable electric scooters and bikeshare bicycles. Cities around the United States are embracing bikeshare and scootershare systems. The upsides are obvious: it can be fun and convenient to zip around without having to worry about a car. The downsides are also obvious: scooters left on sidewalks, the occasional crash, and so on.


To talk to some people, scooters and bikeshare bikes are the great answer. You’ll hear that these share programs help make transit work for many more people, by allowing people to go “the last mile.” For example, if you knew you could always grab a scooter or bike within a block or two of your home and at every UVX stop, would that open possibilities for you to leave the car at home?


Others are reluctant to see any change at all. I see both sides. And I’ve turned down companies wanting to just come in and start their programs here.


But here’s what I’ve now decided: let’s do a controlled trial of a scooter and bike share program, where we as a city hold a lot of the cards. After a lot of research, we’ve identified Zagster as our vendor. In some cities, you have seven or eight different scooter vendors, with few restrictions. We’re going to try one vendor, on a limited basis, and see how it goes, seeking your input all along the way, including before we launch.


Already, Zagster is working with us to shape the program to our community. For example, the plan for now is to geo-fence BYU so that the products won’t work on campus. If a business owner wants a geo-fence (or wants a bikeshare station or scooter area), Zagster will want to hear from you!


Here are some other details:

  • Zagster’s intent is to launch 200 Spin dockless scooters in August and around 100 docked bikes in late 2019, pending sponsorship agreements

  • This will be a one-year pilot project to test the system before any long-term commitment. And even during the pilot phase, I can terminate the program with 90 days’ notice.

  • The program comes at no cost to Provo City; fees are charged to users (proposed fees are $.15 per minute for scooters; $1/minute, $10/month, or $60/month for bikes)

  • Generally, users may ride electric scooters anywhere bicycles are allowed, including bike lanes and the right shoulder of roadways; remember that riding on Center Street and University Avenue sidewalks is not allowed under Provo City Code

  • Users are required to take a picture of their scooter parking job to end their ride; riders who repeatedly park poorly will be banned from the system

  • Each scooter will be collected around 9pm every night by Zagster staff for maintenance and recharging

We want this pilot project to be as smooth and successful as possible and are asking for your input. Here are some questions for you:

  • Where would you ride these bikes and scooters?

  • Where should we place bikeshare stations and scooter staging zones?

  • Who do you think will ride these bikes and scooters?

  • What else would you like to know about the proposed system?

  • Would you like to attend an open house with representatives from Provo City and Zagster?

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