DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The City of Dallas Transportation Department is halting the city’s scooter program on Friday, September 4.
The city said the decision to stop the program was made in consultation with Dallas Police due to public safety concerns from residents.
“We have received complaints about scooters and would like to make substantial changes to the scooter program,” said Transportation Director Mike Rogers. “The changes will include public safety considerations so that the city may have safe modes of alternative transportation.”
Scooter operators are required to cease operations by Wednesday.
All scooters must be removed from city streets by the close of business on Friday.
“Things have just been elevating to the point where we have to, we have to bring this into compliance,” said Rogers.
He said the four scooter companies operating in Dallas knew the city wasn’t happy.
He said riders left the scooters in intersections and on highway entrance and exit ramps, and also committed crimes.
And he said the companies failed to comply with rules that didn’t allow the scooters to operate past 9pm in Deep Ellum and past midnight in downtown and other parts of the city.
Two weeks ago, the city crews rounded up 100 scooters in Deep Ellum after 9 o’clock.
“We went back to the scooter operators and they said they would fix the problem. But the problem still remains as as recent as this weekend.”
Shaun Gaston is a contractor for one of the scooter operators, who says she will take a financial hit.
“This is a family business. And for us not to be able to have the opportunity right now is a hardship.”
The city’s decision also caught Mayor Eric Johnson off-guard.
In a tweet Tuesday, he said, “I was surprised by this decision. I found out about it when you all did, and I don’t understand how the city can essentially suspend an ordinance without city council action.”
The city said in a news release Monday, complaints included allegations that companies and riders were not adhering to the dockless vehicle ordinance and it posed a public safety issue.
The city said the Transportation Department and Dallas Police Department will host community meetings with residents, business owners and vendors to discuss public safety solutions while the scooters remain off the road.
“Over the weekend, we organized field trips with staff from different departments to assess the challenges. Compliance concerns were that scooter operations continued even after shut down times of 9 p.m. in Deep Ellum and 12 midnight in Downtown and were predominantly used for non-transportation purposes with inappropriate riding behaviors in dangerous corridors,” said Mayor Pro Tem Adam Medrano.
None of the five thousand electric scooters in the city of Dallas can be operated by Wednesday, and all must be removed from city streets by the close of business Friday.