City of St. Louis approves proposal for the return of electric scooters after seven month ban

Published: Jan. 9, 2023 at 10:17 PM CST
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - The City of St. Louis pitched a new proposal to bring back the Bike and Scooter program in 2023. The proposal was approved on Tuesday with a few restrictions.

Only those 18 and older will be allowed to ride, and scooters won’t be able to be turned on from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. There will also be a new speed limit of 10-to-12 mph that will be based on location.

The city banned these electric scooters last June because of crime and growing problems with unsupervised juveniles.

It took News 4 just a few minutes to find residents downtown who miss this mode of transportation.

“I think some kids don’t have a way to get to where they need to go,” city resident Hannah Poplawski said.

“I think that the scooters should be back in St. Louis,” resident Kylan Gillam explained. “It’s a safer way to get around and gives kids something fun to do.”

Not everyone is on board, including Dan Pistor, with the Downtown Neighborhood Association.

“It’s only a matter of time before unfortunately someone is killed,” Pistor said.

Pistor said his fear is the trouble that will return if the city lifts its ban on electric scooters.

“The scooters were creating crowds of kids causing violent issues,” Pistor shared. “When they discontinued the scooter program, we didn’t have those issues occurring after so they made a difference.”

A shooting last May pushed police and city leaders to take action, banning the electric scooters, because of growing violence, particularly a spike in crime involving teens.

Fast forward to the new year, the City of St. Louis’ new proposal calls for:

  • An age restriction on scooters, only allowing those older than 18 to ride them
  • A curfew from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. where scooters will not turn on
  • Slower max speeds of 10-to-12 miles per hour based on location
  • And a cap of 1,500 total scooters for the city

“Crime is going to happen regardless. It doesn’t matter if a scooter is present,” Co-Chair of Community Mobility Committee, Christie Holland said over Zoom Monday.

Holland said the city needs to continue efforts to secure grant dollars for youth programming to address crime.

“It’s going to take the community getting creative on how they provide solutions and how kids will take advantage of them, including how they get to and from so we can reduce violence,” Holland said.

Holland added she doesn’t agree with the curfew and adds alternative transportation cuts down on the number of cars pouring into downtown.

“We want to make sure people can travel, we have night time staff, people not tied to the normal 9-5,” Holland explained. “We want to make sure they have first and last mile options to travel when a car is not possible and when transit is not reliable.”

The city’s bike and scooter program proposal is up for approval Tuesday.

The mayor’s office told News 4 there would be no limit for how many companies place their scooters in the city. There will only be 300 permitted in the downtown area and 1,500 individual scooters allowed to be in operation across the city.

Those companies approved will have to pay an annual fee of $2500 and a $30 fee per scooter.