Electric scooters pulled from Twin Cities streets this week

If you’ve been wanting to test out one of those electric scooters in Minneapolis or St. Paul, you better get on it. All Lime and Bird scooters will be pulled from the streets Friday as the pilot programs come to an end.

Now, both cities are evaluating the trial run before the city councils determine how to manage the scooters next year and beyond.

Over the summer, what started as a trendy way to get around town quickly exploded into scooter-mania.

“I think they're amazing and they are just like the new generation of taking a bus or Uber,” said scooter user Natalie Gage.

“I think it's a good way to get from one point to another point, and yeah, I think they're good,” Jannik Hehemann said.

Users took more than 200,000 rides on Lime scooters alone over the past four months.

“The scooters have generally been well received and used by people in Saint Paul these past several months. As a new mode of micro-transportation to our community, the city continues to work with the scooter vendors to educate riders about proper riding rules, including not riding on sidewalks,” said Lisa Hiebert with St. Paul Public Works.

“We've had really surprising use in terms of not only the number of people that have been using it, but also the number of people who have been using it regularly. And so it's been shown to be not just kind of a novelty or a whimsical thing, but actually a meaningful transportation alternative for people,” said Minneapolis Mobility Manager Josh Johnson.

The trial run wasn’t all smooth scooting. There were complaints about where users parked and rode their scooters, along with three crashes in Minneapolis. No one was seriously injured.

“They should honestly have on the bike lane, also a scooter lane. That would be really cool to add that, it would be a really smart thing to do so that people aren't just riding on the sidewalks and worrying about getting around people,” Gage said.

“We have seen a surprising amount of use even through cold weather and thankfully we haven't had significant snow to this point, so we've really been able to extend the season through the full term of the pilot without having that disruption of snow and ice,” Johnson said.  

With other electric scooter companies now in the mix, additional vendors may be introduced to the market next year.