FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KFSM) — Those who live or are just visiting Fayetteville will soon have access to public electric scooters.
Electric scooters can be ridden legally anywhere bicycles are allowed, including streets and paved trails. Riding e-scooters on sidewalks is not permitted where the sidewalk abuts a building.
Riders must always yield to pedestrians and should park the e-scooters at bike racks or in other appropriate areas not blocking pedestrian or vehicle access.
After using the e-scooter, the rider will be required to take a photo of it parked to finalize their rental.
Electric scooters are capable of speeds up to 15 mph but can be set to automatically slow down in specified zones as deemed necessary for safety. Slow zones have been set in some areas of the U of A campus with heavy pedestrian traffic.
The companies will have local offices and staff to manage operations in the Fayetteville market.
The Arkansas General Assembly passed the Electric Motorized Scooter Act in July 2019.
In accordance with that legislation, the city staff and City Council created and passed an ordinance that establishes regulations for use of motorized e-scooters within the city, as well as requirements for scooter-share vendors.
The city along with the U of A have been working to approve and issue vendor permits.
Each company must have a valid city permit in order to get a permit approved by the university. city and university staff are in the process of finalizing permits and conducting equipment testing and verification of geo-fence functions.
Companies must renew permits every six months to comply with local and state regulations.
Permit fees are expected to total approximately $45,000 annually and the funds will be used to offset additional city and U of A staff time associated with managing e-scooters. Funds will also be used to pay for bike and pedestrian infrastructure and safety initiatives.
The ten-square-mile service area for shared e-scooters will be consistent with the existing VeoRide bike-share boundaries.
The city’s ordinance allows for 250 e-scooters per vendor with a total cap of 500 e-scooters.
Residents can expect to see up to 200 e-scooters available to use as early as Friday (Nov. 8) with more being added incrementally.