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Dallas temporarily bans scooter program due to misuse

2 years 3 months 4 days ago Wednesday, September 02 2020 Sep 2, 2020 September 02, 2020 5:47 PM September 02, 2020 in News - AP Texas Headlines

DALLAS (AP) — The city of Dallas has decided to temporarily ban its scooter program after receiving an influx of complaints about people misusing them.

The Dallas Department of Transportation decided to halt the program on Monday. Scooter operators must remove about 5,000 scooters by Friday, The Dallas Morning News reported.

“A lot of people are still riding these scooters, and they seem to be up to no good,” said Michael Rogers, the city's transportation director.

Mobility advocates say they are not pleased with the city's decision, but officials are convinced that there need to be tighter regulations in place for riders.

City officials said Tuesday that companies have not been disabling the vehicles at night when they are not permitted. There have been complaints of groups of people riding them late at night and harassing business owners and residents.

The coronavirus pandemic has worsened the problem. Officials said that before the pandemic, scooters were used mostly for transportation but are now being used for entertainment.

A city ordinance allows scooters to operate until 9 p.m. in Deep Ellum and until midnight in other neighborhoods.

Mayor Eric Johnson said in a tweet that he was surprised by decision to halt the program.

“I don’t understand how the city can essentially suspend an ordinance without City Council action,” he wrote. He also stated that they should meet as soon as possible to discuss future plans.

Mayor Pro Tem Adam Medrano, who represents Deep Ellum, said Rogers can pause the scooter program for emergencies such as public safety concerns without council approval.

Council member David Blewett, whose district includes the Central Business District, said he has received complaints about the scooters from concerned residents.

“If we can fix some of the issues, then we have a chance to bring them back,” Blewett said.

Jasmine Wallsmith, a spokeswoman for transportation company Bird, said her company was continuing discussions with the city and hoped to “provide our service again in the near future.” They are one of five of the permitted scooter operators in Dallas.

Rogers said that when the city told the scooter companies about the late-night violations, they said they would fix it but didn't. He also said that city officials, scooter vendors and community leaders will work together to make sure the scooters are safe for everyone.

For copyright information, check with the distributor of this item, The Dallas Morning News.

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