Resident Nick Tharp approached the Owensboro Metropolis Fee at its special-called work session Tuesday in regards to the thought of building an electrical scooter enterprise.
Tharp mentioned he reached out to Commissioner Jeff Sanford final yr about bringing the Chicken-manufactured electrical scooter to the town, however that the legal responsibility insurance coverage was too pricey then.
“We by no means received thus far on the time as a result of every time I seemed into the insurance coverage at the moment, they wished $50,000 a yr,” Tharp mentioned.
Since that time, nevertheless, Tharp mentioned Chicken now covers the insurance coverage portion, making it possible to spend money on the enterprise.
“I didn’t wish to simply exit and begin this factor as a result of I didn’t need scooters everywhere in the highway with out no one realizing,” he mentioned.
The electrical scooters, that are managed by means of an app, permit riders to not solely pay electronically but in addition to trace the closest out there scooter, which could be left wherever locally.
Tharp mentioned Chicken recommends sporting helmets and never driving them on sidewalks. The town would require the scooters to be ridden on the road and the rider must be a minimum of 16 years previous.
“The thought of Chicken … you sort of trip them the place you need them and also you get off them after which someone else picks them up from the place you left it off,” Tharp mentioned.
The scooters have been extra outstanding in bigger U.S. cities however many scooter fleets have been pulled throughout the early levels of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In keeping with Chicken’s web site, Louisville was amongst 10 U.S. cities which have since been phased again into service. In 2019, Louisville had as much as 450 scooters.
The Louisville Courier-Journal reported in November 2019 that the town instituted a ban on driving them from 9 p.m. to six a.m., and restricted speeds in its downtown space.
Commissioner Larry Conder mentioned he’s seen them in Nashville however expressed considerations about them littering the roadsides and different public areas.
“A few the problems I’ve seen is when folks drop them off, they drop them off,” Conder mentioned. “They’re on the sidewalk; they’re within the gutters; they’re in all places is the place they’re and plenty of instances it turns into an issue.”
In keeping with Tharp, Owensboro is rated by Chicken for 300 scooters however his plan can be to begin with 100.
Tharp mentioned really useful parking areas might be established and guided by the app. And there can be a part-time particular person choosing them up and ensuring they have been saved charged.
If the Metropolis Fee have been to embrace the thought, one or presumably two metropolis ordinances would possible should be amended, in accordance with Lelan Hancock, assistant metropolis supervisor.
Hancock mentioned a regulation presently prohibits motorized automobiles on the David C. Adkisson Greenbelt Park in addition to on strolling trails in different metropolis parks.
And within the downtown space, which incorporates Smothers Park, Hancock mentioned scooters, together with bicycles, skateboards and curler skates are presently not allowed.
Tharp mentioned wherever the scooters have been prohibited or wanted to be pushed slower might be custom-made primarily based round digital geofencing that’s predetermined.
“We might really set a no-ride zone on the Greenbelt,” Tharp mentioned. “What meaning, in the event that they’re driving alongside and so they hit that no-ride zone, it’s going to close the scooter off. …There’re additionally gradual zones. For instance Moreland Park, it’s not essentially they’ll’t be there however we’re going to cut back the velocity and we’re going to take it down to five mph or 3 mph or no matter.”
Tharp mentioned he sees the electrical scooters as an attraction that might generate income for the town.
“The primary factor is we thought it will be enjoyable for Owensboro,” Tharp mentioned. “Clearly, it will be for the town as nicely; it will be a bit extra income. At this level, we’re undecided how a lot as a result of we don’t know the way it’s going to work.”