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Owensboro resident proposes bringing electric scooters to downtown area

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Owensboro resident proposes bringing electrical scooters to downtown space

Graphics by Owensboro Occasions

One Owensboro resident and entrepreneur introduced a notion to Metropolis Commissioners on Tuesday to convey 100 electrical scooters to the downtown space to be used by the general public. Nicholas Tharp the scooters wouldn’t value the Metropolis something and he believed they’d present leisure and cost-effective technique of transportation in Owensboro. 

Tharp stated he’d already been in talks with Hen — an organization that’s offered electrical scooters to quite a few cities already — in addition to Commissioner Jeff Sanford, Metropolis Supervisor Nate Pagan and Assistant Metropolis Supervisor Lelan Hancock in regards to the thought, incomes constructive suggestions from most everybody. 

In response to Tharp, Hen estimated Owensboro may use as much as 300 electrical scooters primarily based on its measurement, however Tharp talked the corporate all the way down to offering 100 to start with. Tharp stated he needed to run the thought by Metropolis Commissioners relatively than shocking them with an announcement that 100 scooters could be dropped at Owensboro. 

The electrical scooters have grow to be standard in cities resembling Louisville, Nashville and St. Louis, Tharp stated. 

Tharp stated he’s buying the scooters, so the Metropolis of Owensboro wouldn’t need to pay something to have them right here. He added that he would handle charging and upkeep for the entire scooters. 

Good telephones could be used to show the scooters on and off by way of the Hen app. Customers may additionally pay to make use of the scooters by way of their telephones, Tharp stated. The scooters wouldn’t essentially have designated parking spots, and as an alternative might be parked or picked up from wherever within the Metropolis. 

“In St. Louis, you experience the place you wish to hop off, then another person hops on,” he stated. “If you wish to designate most popular parking spots, you are able to do that too.” 

The foundations for scooters use are largely customizable, Tharp added. They’d not be permitted to be used on Metropolis sidewalks and have to be pushed on the streets, however sure areas resembling parks and the Greenbelt might be designated as “no-ride zones,” he stated. If an individual had been to cross into one of many no-ride zones, the scooter would mechanically shut off. 

“We are able to arrange some geofences the place they will’t be ridden in parks,” Hancock stated. 

The concept to convey electrical scooters to Owensboro got here to Tharp after he rode one in a special metropolis and loved the expertise. As a lifelong Owensboro resident and an entrepreneur, Tharp stated he and his spouse had been at all times on the lookout for methods to assist the neighborhood and get enjoyable issues on the market for individuals to do. 

“Downtown is our essential focus. All that cash was simply spent on the market and bought it trying good. There’s tons of individuals down there each day,” he stated. “These scooters may join individuals to different small companies downtown.” 

Moreover, Tharp stated faculty college students may use the scooters to get to class and that they might be used to attach individuals to the transit methods. 

“For a few bucks they will hop on one in every of these and it will get them to the place they should go,” he stated. 

Whereas helmets are inspired by Hen, they don’t seem to be enforced. Owensboro Police Division officers stated they wouldn’t be capable to implement helmet-wearing on them as a result of electrical scooters didn’t qualify as motor autos. Nonetheless, in response to OPD, there would probably be a difficulty in policing the 18-year-old age restrict of these allowed to make use of Hen scooters. 

“Our major concern is being 18 to function them,” stated Area Companies Commander Main J.D. Winkler. “This might probably be an issue. It will be a low-level offense we’d have to interact with the neighborhood about.” 

Winkler additionally confirmed that these driving Hen scooters whereas below the affect might be served with a DUI of a non-motor car. 

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