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Seattle plans to test electric scooter-share program next spring

The City of Seattle plans to join other cities with a pilot program for electric scooters on city streets.

SEATTLE — Editor's note: The above video is from a May 2019 story on Seattle's consideration of the scooter-share program.

Seattle is moving forward with a scooter-share pilot program, slated to begin next spring.

Over the past few months, the city has been laying groundwork for electric scooter-sharing, studying cities like Portland and Los Angeles who have their own programs.  

Seattle was one of the first cities in the country to embrace dockless bicycle-sharing programs. However, the city has been reluctant to move forward with a scooter-share program, even though neighboring cities like Redmond, Bothell and Tacoma launched their own programs.

The Seattle Department of Transportation will begin phase one of the plan with community outreach and engagement. The Seattle Department of Transportation will collaborate with the Pedestrian Advisory Board, Transit Advisory Board, and Bike Advisory Board, as well as organizations focused on disability rights and transportation equity, Center City community groups, neighborhood groups, and community groups representing a high proportion of people of color.

RELATED: What you need to know before getting on an electric scooter

Lime, which already operates car-sharing and bike-sharing programs in Seattle, released the following statement on Wednesday: 

“Lime is proud to be a leader of the micromobility movement here in the Pacific Northwest. We welcome the City of Seattle's announced due diligence process leading to a scooter-share pilot program in the city. We look forward to being an active participant in the process and are thrilled to be continuing the conversation around bringing scooters to the City of Seattle, as we have in over 100+ communities globally."

During phase one, the city will work with stakeholder groups to help shape the goals, scope, and scale of scooter-share in Seattle. They'll also conduct environmental impact reviews during this period. 

The first phase is expected to last a few months. 

The DOT is still determining whether the scooters would be allowed on sidewalks, bike lanes or in general travel lanes. 

The city hasn't set a concrete launch date but hopes the program will be up and running in the spring of 2020.

Those with questions or concerns are asked to visit the DOT's website or email scootershare@seattle.gov

RELATED: Redmond residents can now scooter their way around town

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