March 24, 2022
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DOT to Expand E-Scooter Pilot in the Bronx, Doubling Footprint and Fleet Size
Service for Bronx residents has been a success, with 480,000 trips taken to date and a strong safety record;
DOT has also improved local cycling infrastructure
NEW YORK – Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez announced today the DOT plans to expand its e-scooter pilot in the eastern Bronx this June, which will double the program's footprint and bring new micromobility options to more residents. In less than a year, the three e-scooter share companies in the pilot's first phase have already recorded more than 480,000 trips without any deaths or serious injuries.
"This administration is committed to reducing our dependency on automobiles and more equitably delivering services across the five boroughs. Our e-scooter pilot in the Bronx has been a remarkable success and we're excited to bring it even more residents in need of alternate forms of transportation," said Commissioner Rodriguez. "We thank our pilot partners Bird, Lime, and Veo, for sharing our values of safety, affordability, and accessibility."
Through Phase 2 of the pilot, DOT will work with its partners to double the number of available scooters from 3,000 to 6,000 while extending current pilot zone in the northeast Bronx further south. Phase 2 will include neighborhoods like Parkchester, Castle Hill, Country Club, and Throggs Neck, providing connections to additional stops on the 6 train as well as the NYC Ferry at both the Soundview Ferry Terminal and Ferry Point Park Terminal.
The DOT will continue to work with Bird, Lime, and Veo to promote safe and responsible riding, discounted pricing options, and compliance with e-scooter parking rules. Companies are required to hold free, in-person outreach and safety training events each month and have held a number of demonstrations in partnership with community organizations, BIDs, and New York City Housing Authority tenant associations.
The strong safety requirements in the DOT's pilot builds off of lessons learned through the agency's experience with Vision Zero and other cities' experiences with shared e-scooters. Safety is baked into contractual and operational requirements. The DOT requires in-app safety training and quiz and age verification for new riders. There is also a "Beginner Mode," during which each rider's first three trips are speed-limited at 10 mph and cannot start in overnight hours.
DOT has also expanded bike infrastructure in the pilot area, installing bike lanes on White Plains Road and 233rd Street. During the second phase of the pilot, DOT plans to install 10 miles of conventional lanes and is planning to build more cycling infrastructure in the expansion area in 2022 and 2023, including: Eastchester Road, Bronxdale Avenue, a new PBL network in Throggs Neck, as well as extending lanes along White Plains Road.
DOT will begin outreach soon at relevant community boards will for future bike lane expansion proposals in Throggs Neck and additional, protected bike lanes in Soundview.
Affordability & Accessibility
New Yorkers who receive or qualify for any local, state, or federal assistance program (e.g. SNAP, NYCHA, discounted utility bill) are eligible for discounted e-scooter rates. Materials promoting discounted pricing are available in multiple languages. DOT has worked with the three companies to provide options for users to pay with cash instead of a credit card and for users to use e-scooters without a smart phone by texting. As part of the pilot, all companies must provide wheelchair-accessible scooters.
As of early March 2022, 950 unique rider accounts have collectively nearly 17,000 rides through discounted pricing services, averaging approximately 20 rides per account. DOT will work with the companies to push enrollment in these discount programs higher during the second phase.
"Ridership in the Bronx has been incredible, demonstrating the very real and complementary benefits that micro-electric transportation can bring both to residents and established transit services in New York City," said Renaud Fages, Chief Mobility Officer at Bird. "We commend the NYC DOT for expanding the availability of e-scooters into more neighborhoods in the Bronx, and we look forward to continuing our work with them to ensure the program has a positive impact on all New Yorkers."
"We're honored to provide safe, affordable, carbon-free transportation to even more Bronx residents this year. Since launching last summer, tens of thousands of Bronx riders have used Lime e-scooters to traverse neighborhoods that can be difficult to navigate on public transit. We've also offered thousands of discounted rides through our Lime Access program to ensure income isn't a barrier to sustainable transportation," said Phil Jones, Senior Director of Government Relations at Lime. "We look forward to continuing outreach with local elected officials and community organizations to raise further awareness about Lime Access, as well as to provide safety training to residents in Parkchester, Soundview and Throgs Neck so new riders know the rules and can feel confident riding. We are grateful to Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez and Mayor Eric Adams for expanding this successful program. As the city reopens and looks to provide New Yorkers with sustainable transportation options that reduce pollution and fight congestion, this is a step in the right direction."
"Veo's diverse fleet of stand-up and seated scooters has made micromobility welcoming to a broad set of riders in the Bronx." said Candice Xie, CEO of Veo. "The City's expanded pilot area will help Veo get even more residents where they need to go sustainably and affordably without relying on cars, and we can't wait to work with the DOT and local community to responsibly introduce shared e-scooters to the entire East Bronx this summer!"
“E-scooters are green, affordable, and invaluable in public transit deserts, so I’m happy to see that phase one of this project in the Bronx has been successful,” said Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams. “It’s clear that many New Yorkers have already come to rely on e-scooters, and I expect even more will take advantage of this program when it’s expanded to cover more of the borough. As the project grows, it’s essential to prioritize both accessibility and safety. I appreciate that the Department of Transportation is creating opportunities for alternate modes of transit and investing in options for low-income riders as well as riders with disabilities.”
"Bronxites deserve to benefit from all of the accessible and affordable transportation options available. The expansion of the e-scooter pilot program will improve the accessibility and safety of our communities, ensure even more residents can take advantage of alternative modes of transportation, and help reduce vehicular emissions for a healthier climate and borough," said State Senator Jamaal T. Bailey. "I want to thank Commissioner Rodriguez, the Department of Transportation, and corporate sponsors Bird, Lime, and Veo for prioritizing transportation access and investing in the safety infrastructure necessary for the continued expansion of this program across the Bronx."
"The expansion of e-scooters to the East Bronx is an important step to addressing affordable transportation alternatives for Bronxites," said State Senator Luis Sepúlveda. "I applaud DOT's efforts to include low-income New Yorkers in their plan by providing a discount to SNAP recipients and NYCHA residents. I look forward to working together on the expansion of this pilot program in a way that benefits all Bronxites alike."
"The e-scooter program has proven to be safe and effective for my Bronx constituents. Adding more e-scooters and pilot zones will only transform our borough," Assembly Member Kenny Burgos. "I applaud Commissioner Rodriguez for his work to improve the lives of all Bronxites."
"The more transportations options we have for our communities the better off we are. I greatly look forward to seeing the E-Scooter pilot program in my own backyard. While we have public transit options like the ferry, buses, and trains, we often lack the ability to move in between our transit hubs and our homes," said Council Member Amanda Farías. "By adding the option of e-scooters, neighbors are able to move more freely, and with more autonomy. E-scooters will make transit in our communities more efficient, affordable, and accessible to make it home from the ferry or the subway. These are all struggles my family, friends, and I experience on a daily basis in my community and I look forward to getting to use these scooters myself. Thank you Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez for your attention to the needs of our Bronx transit deserts and to everyone at the DOT who is working diligently to make this happen."
"The New York City Department of Transportation's expansion into Phase 2 of the e-scooter pilot program signifies to serve more areas of the Bronx community", said Council Member Kevin C. Riley. "I am looking forward to continuing partnership with the community to ensure this program's lasting benefits to provide equity, improve the quality of life, and create more convenient travel that enhances our New York City public transportation system. Thank you to the DOT and our pilot partners Bird, Lime, and Veo for committing to address issues to improve this program."
"Expanding access to micromobility is key to reducing car usage, encouraging sustainable ways of getting around, and creating a more equitable transportation network," said Danny Harris, Transportation Alternatives Executive Director. "The success of the program so far shows the need for future expansion, and we're excited to see Commission Rodriguez and DOT bring e-scooters to more neighborhoods in the Bronx. We will continue to advocate for protected on-street infrastructure to keep riders safe and ensure the program's continued success."