Omaha plans electric scooter pilot program

Electric scooters already are a go in Tulsa, Oklahoma, above. Omaha will pick up to three scooter companies to participate in a pilot program here.

You’ll soon see dockless electric scooters around Omaha.

Mayor Jean Stothert’s office announced Wednesday that the city is seeking proposals from companies to participate in a pilot program from late March until mid-November.

Such a program will allow people to rent electric scooters for a short period of time. They would be dockless, meaning the scooters wouldn’t have a permanent home, a feature that’s popular in urban areas.

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Scooter companies such as Lime and Bird operate in cities across the United States and bill themselves as an affordable and convenient way to get around. Bird is in Kansas City.

Stothert said dockless scooters have the potential to expand Omaha’s mobility options.

After the pilot, the city plans to evaluate the effort to see if it supports the city’s master plan goals, which include providing multifaceted transportation in Omaha and creating livable and connected neighborhoods.

The deadline for companies to submit a proposal to the city is Feb. 8. To participate, companies must pay the city $10,000 for a permit.

They must also pay the city 50 cents per day per scooter and submit safety records to the city, plus explain how they will improve access to jobs for unemployed and underemployed people.

The city plans to pick up to three bidders. Each company can have as many as 500 scooters during the pilot.

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