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1,500 dockless e-scooters rolling into Tucson this summer

TUCSON –The Tucson City Council approved 5-2 to move the e-scooter pilot program forward Tuesday afternoon.

The program is set to launch in the summer and will run for six months before an evaluation period and the option to renew the program another six months.

Many big cities have them, including Phoenix, and with a number of changes to the pilot program, Tucson residents could see them soon.

The e-scooters are dockless, so when a user is done riding, he or she simply leaves it wherever.

“They’ve been very successful in other cities,” said Councilman Paul Durham, Ward 3.

Durham is all for bringing the scooters to Tucson.

“It stimulates restaurants, other forms of entertainment,” Durham said. “It makes them walkable whereas they weren’t otherwise walkable.”

Dockless e-scooter / Courtesy: Bird

Others have an issue with the dockless aspect. Ward 6 Councilman Steve Kozachik worries that people will leave them in places they should not, creating a hazard.

“We are inviting now up to 15 hundred scooters into the most densely populated in terms of people and cars and streetcar and pedestrian and busses,” said Kozachik. “It’s the most densely populated portion of the city, without any real good control built in as to where the scooters are going to be dumped.”

After city leaders turned them down months ago, they re-worked the pilot program.

In the new draft, only two companies and 1,500 scooters will be allowed.

There are also set restrictions on where the scooters can be discarded when a user is done riding.

“We have a requirement that if an e-scooter is parked inappropriately, the operator is given two hours to move it and they are given pretty severe penalties if they fail to move it,” said Durham.

But Kozachik worries it will add an extra burden to police.

“We have trouble keeping shopping carts out of people’s neighborhoods or washes,” said Kozachik. “We don’t need to pick up another enforcement obligation.”

Associated Press

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