PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – In the middle of a busy Market Square, you can catch a flash of wheels as scooters head through the crowd.
“We have received some complaints about people riding on sidewalks or parking their scooters on sidewalks and so we are ramping up our educational efforts,” said Kim Lucas, Pittsburgh’s DOMI assistant director.READ MORE: Tentative Contract Agreement Reached Between Pittsburgh Public Schools, Teachers Union
Pittsburgh is the first city to debut this new mode of transportation in the state. Lucas told KDKA that two weeks in and over 5,000 scooter rides, it doesn’t come without some issues.
“We are tracking every concern we receive about sidewalk riding, sidewalk parking, other concerns about unsafe behavior and following up on those. We want to make sure this is a program that supports not only those riding the scooters or people using the transit app but for everyone else in the city who’s using that same space with those users,” Lucas said.
But how do you enforce the rules with hundreds of scooters spread across the city?
“The wonderful thing about an electric scooter fleet is we know exactly whoever the user is and where they start and stop their trip and there is absolutely escalating penalties for those users and ultimately them being banned from the system if they are found to be repeat offenders,” Lucas said.READ MORE: COVID-19 In Pennsylvania: Health Department Reports 1,493 New Cases, 15 Additional Deaths
Among the rule-breakers are those excited for the new opportunities.
“Great way to get around the city, easy and quick, they are fun,” said Jay Mclain from Pittsburgh.
It’s that reason the city is pushing for people to ride safely and bring success to the new program.
“Sometimes getting an Uber or getting rides is tough, this keeps you out in the air, it’s easy to get around. It’s perfect if you are going a few blocks or a mile and you don’t want to walk. I love it, it’s a great concept,” said Sean Mckeown, who’s visiting from Florida.MORE NEWS: COVID-19 In Pittsburgh: Allegheny County Reports 2-Day Total Of 268 New Cases, 3 Additional Deaths
The city initially launched less than 100 scooters. This weekend it’s ramping up the program and there will be 500 scooters on the street with plans to expand to 1,000 before the end of the year.