MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (KMSP) - They are one of the hottest trends in cities around the country and now they are welcome on the streets of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Electric scooters are available to ride in limited numbers.
The scooters were pretty much dumped on the Twin Cities a few weeks ago and now both cities have a program in place to take them for a test drive.
“I like them a lot,” said Mike Vowels, a resident who enjoys the scooters. “When there's a lot of people around they are a little dangerous.”
For Vowels, renting an electric scooter is a new way to get around downtown Minneapolis.
But he hopes new regulations won't put too much of a squeeze on the popular Lime e-scooters.
“They are fun to ride around on. They go kind of fast but kind of fun to see the city and see people,” he said.
The Minneapolis City Council approved a pilot program for the motorized scooters that were first introduced in Minneapolis a few weeks ago.
Under the agreement, the total number of scooters from companies like Lime and Bird would be capped at 200 until the end of September and then 400 until the end of November, so staffers can evaluate how well they work in the city and how best to move forward.
“It’s a good idea to test it for sure. There have been cases where I'm really close to a car or I'm not in an incident. Or there is some kind of Lime blocking the traffic,” Benjamin Oluwalowo said.
Across the river in St. Paul, the City Council approved its own pilot program for e-scooters earlier this week.
St. Paul's program allows each company to put 150 scooters on the streets until the end of November or the first major snowfall of the year.
“We’re really interested in giving it a try. We'll see how it goes and make a call over this winter for next year,” said Russ Stark, Chief Resilience Officer for the city of St. Paul.
But Vowels hopes neither city sours on companies like lime anytime soon.
“I think they should stick around. They are fun to ride on. As long as people are safe on them. Then for sure,” he said.
The scooters are still on the streets in Minneapolis, but they were removed from St. Paul about a week ago.
But city leaders expect them back any day now since the pilot program is now in place.