The city of Wichita is looking at a pilot program to allow companies to provide electric scooters for rental use in the downtown area. Several companies have approached the city about providing scooters, which have become a new transportation trend in urban areas across the U.S.
Wichita Transit director Mike Tann talked about regulations and requirements for scooters during a city council workshop Tuesday. He said the city can control the number of scooters and can also place restrictions on their use. He said scooters would not be allowed on sidewalks but they can be used on bike lanes and pathways with some exceptions. There would also be restrictions on where scooters can be left when riders are finished with them, but Tann said some companies will set up locations where scooters can be taken.
The city asked a consulting firm, Toole Design of Portland, Oregon, to look at a dozen Midwestern communities that have dockless e-scooters in operation. Tann said the city’s policy would be modeled after ordinances in Kansas City and Columbia, Missouri.
Tann said three companies approached Wichita State University about e-scooters and those companies were referred to the city. He said a draft ordinance is being prepared and it will be presented to the Transit Advisory Board, the Wichita Bicycle and Pedestrian Board and the Park Board, as well as district advisory boards. The ordinance will then to go the city council for consideration.