Spin Scooters At Gateway Park May 23 2019

Lime and Spin Roll Out in Minneapolis, Jump and Lyft Arriving Soon

Lime Scooters At Gateway Park May 23 2019

Lime scooters at Gateway Park on May 23. Photo: Author

Starting May 13, electric scooters have returned to the streets of Minneapolis. The city green-lit contracts with four network operators, Jump, Lime, Lyft, and Spin, and as of May 13, Lime and Spin are operating in the city. Jump is a brand of Uber Technologies Inc. and Spin is owned by Ford Motor Co.

Lime, Bird, and Spin were chosen for contracts by the City of St. Paul. Uber and Lyft are expanding their turf war from ride share to bike and scooter share, but neither was chosen for St. Paul.

I talked with a City of Minneapolis spokesperson about the current state of electric scooters in Minneapolis.

Currently Lime and Spin are operating (as of May 13th), the Lyft agreement is being finalized this week, and City staff are still working on final discussions with Jump. There is no intention to open up to other entrants at this point.

City of Minneapolis spokesperson, May 20, 2019

Spin Scooters And Nice Ride Green Classic Bikes At Gold Medal Park May 23 2019

Spin scooters parked near the Nice Ride station near Gold Medal Park on May 23. Photo: Author

There has been some hiccups, however. On May 18 and 20, Spin scooters were not on the streets and none appeared in the operator’s app. Spin’s vibrant orange scooters have returned on some days. As of this writing, May 25, there were no Spin scooters available in the app.

The second year of electric scooters is still a learning year for many riders and the city.

According to the Minneapolis Public Works scooter website, scooter riders must abide by the same laws governing bikes.

scooter riding 101

Rules for riding an electric scooter in Minneapolis. Graphic: City of Minneapolis

scooter parking 101

Rules for parking an electric scooter in Minneapolis. Graphic: City of Minneapolis

However, dicey street traffic has led many scooter riders to use sidewalks as the primary right-of-way. Anecdotally, it appears the majority of scooter riders do not wear helmets, which are required by some operator contracts.

Lyft and Jump should be hitting the streets of Minneapolis in the next few weeks. Watch this space for updates on electric scooters, the future of mobility, and all things streets.

Have you ridden an electric scooter this year? What model or brand of scooter is your favorite to ride? Share your discoveries and thoughts in the comments.

Conrad Zbikowski

About Conrad Zbikowski

Downtown Minneapolis resident covering local issues including parks, transportation, zoning, and development.

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