THE BRONX, N.Y. (PIX11) — For years, residents of Northeast Bronx have expressed frustration with how difficult it is to get around with few public transit options.
“The east side of the Bronx is where most of the transportation is needed,” said Bronx resident Christopher Crum.
That’s why the New York City Department of Transportation launched the Shared E-Scooter Pilot Program in August 2021. Now, more than a year later, the DOT says it’s been a success.
Their latest report includes usage information from the three companies: Veo, Bird and Lime. Combined, they served 86,000 riders for 1,000,000 trips during a 12-month period. The program has been so popular that the city will be making it permanent and will likely expand. Most of the rides happen on weekdays, with many residents using the e-scooters to get to the closest subway stations.
“I think that’s great. It really reduced my commute 15 to 20 minutes because I don’t live too far, but it’s a half an hour walk. It really makes a huge difference. Also on my return home. I get home late and often there’s a long wait for the bus. So I hop on one of these and it makes a huge difference,” said Valerie Perez.
The e-scooters are meant to be used in bike lanes and on streets with speed limits no greater than 30 mph, but some users ride on sidewalks or go too fast. That leaves little time for drivers and pedestrians to see them coming. On Nov. 12, a man on an e-scooter was killed when he was struck by a car on East 149th Street.
E-scooter users are supposed to park them at the free sidewalk bicycle parking racks or bike corrals, or at the edge of the sidewalk to not interfere with people walking. Residents say there aren’t enough dedicated zones. People are leaving them anywhere like next to a fire hydrant near Morris Park Avenue.
“It needs a bit more planning. There needs to be parking and also I just think more education. I hope the community preserves and takes care of them because some folks don’t take care of them. They knock them down. It affects my life, said Perez.