City Councilman Espinal Drafting Legislation For New Pilot Share Program That Would Act As Another Alternative To Cars

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Subways delayed? Can’t find a cab? Why not take a motorized scooter?

The City Council is drafting legislation for the New York’s first scooter-share program, CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported Thursday.

They are popular in many other cities — electric scooters that are rented like just like Citi Bikes, and could prove popular here as a way to avoid chronically poor subway service and maddeningly congested streets.

“It’s 2018. It’s the future,” said Councilman Rafael Espinal (D-Brooklyn).

Espinal has drawn up the legislation for a pilot program to see how to make it work.

“It’s time for the city to embrace a new form of transportation, instead of putting the brakes on a potential problem solver,” Espinal said.

There are still a lot of kinks to be worked out — state action is needed to legalized them — and some basic rules need to be established, as in helmet requirements and speed limits.

“Where would they go?” asked one Department of Transportation official.

Espinal said scooters won’t be allowed on sidewalks

“It’s important for every pedestrian to know that we would never allow for any vehicle that could be a threat to their safety to be on our sidewalks,” he said.

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Paul Steely White of the advocacy group Transportation Alternatives said he is a fan.

“It makes perfect sense for a crowded city like New York to have a spatially efficient, convenient, low cost way to get around,” he said.

Some are worried about safety. Two women in Nashville were injured last May by a hit-and-run driver.

“In order for them to work, public safety must be paramount,” Council Speaker Corey Johnson said in a statement.

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Like with most things, New Yorkers seem split on the issue.

“I think that’s a good idea,” said Dominick Desena of Maspeth, Queens. “Less traffic.”

“I’m not sure it’s a good idea,” added Kinga Sernacka of Maspeth. “It’s like, dangerous.”

“I think it’s smart. Maybe energy saving would be one thing and pollution,” Myrtle Choice said.

“More bikes on the road is going to mean harder for cars to drive,” said Kevin Richardson of Bed-Stuy. “I actually drive a city bus and it’s already hard to drive with the Citi Bikes, so I think it would be a bad idea.”

Officials representing a company named Bird, which operates scooter-sharing programs all over the United States, said the average cost of a ride would be $1.90, cheaper than the subway, where its $2.75 with a MetroCard and $3 for a single ride.