Spartanburg City Council Approves 12-month Extension for Electric Scooter Rentals

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Spartanbug City Council recently approved a 12-month extension of a franchise agreement allowing electric scooter operator Blue Duck to continue providing scooter rentals in downtown Spartanburg and surrounding neighborhoods. Council member Erica Brown voted against the motion.

Blue Duck has provided around 100 electric scooters for users to rent since May of last year.

Staff provided an update to council at their October 26 meeting on the scooter rental program that showed over 14,300 riders have used the scooters between May and September, with a peak of 4,794 in July. Those numbers are better than what Blue Duck initially anticipated when launching in Spartanburg, according to company representatives.

Assistant City Manager Mitch Kennedy told council that staff will continue its education efforts about the scooter program, which features routine social media updates reminding users about the scooter program and rules for riders, as well as signage reminding riders that the scooters are prohibited on City sidewalks. Signage is also being produced for City parking garages to remind users that scooters are not allowed within the garages. Additionally, Blue Duck will be updating the scooters with new vinyl stickers reminding users to not use sidewalks while riding.

The City of Spartanburg has worked closely with Blue Duck throughout the pilot program ensure rider and pedestrian safety while providing a new micromobility option for residents and visitors, restricting riders from the Morgan Square area and E Main Street between Liberty St. and Church St due to higher number of pedestrians in those areas. The scooters are also restricted from city trails. The scooters utilize GPS technology, and will not function outside their service area or within areas that have been restricted.

Under terms of the agreement Blue Duck has with the city, scooter riders must use bike lanes when available and may only use streets with a speed limit of 25 MPH or less. Additionally, the scooters may not be ridden on sidewalks, on trails such as the Mary Black Foundation Rail Trail, or in city parks. Riders will also not be allowed to park scooters on sidewalks within 8 feet of a building entrance or within 4 feet of benches and crosswalks.

For more from the recent Spartanburg City Council meeting, see the full video below.

Spartanburg City Council meeting, November 8, 2021 from City of Spartanburg on Vimeo.

Prepared by the City of Spartanburg.