ABQ councilors approve shared transportation vehicle ordinance - Albuquerque Journal

ABQ councilors approve shared transportation vehicle ordinance

Copyright © 2018 Albuquerque Journal

Residents will soon start seeing electric scooters and other kinds of shared transportation options around the city.

Albuquerque city councilors on Monday approved an ordinance allowing shared transportation vehicles, such as bicycles, scooters, e-bikes, e-scooters and other small, wheeled vehicles, to operate in public rights of way. The vote was 8-1, with Councilor Issac Benton in opposition.

Sponsored by Councilor Pat Davis, the ordinance gives operators of those small vehicles, designed specifically for shared use, the same rights as users of bicycles on city streets, highways, roadways and sidewalks.

The ordinance also includes other provisions, such as requiring vendors of shared transportation services to undertake a permitting process and city approval for the location of stations where vehicles are available for consumer use.

Vendors would pay an annual fee for each station within any city-owned property, public space or right of way, as well as a daily fee for each small vehicle in service.

People take electric scooters for a ride Monday afternoon at Civic Plaza during a demonstration with city employees. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

“It’s good for Albuquerque because there are just a handful of cities in the country that are innovating these types of transportation programs,” Davis told the Journal. “They’re popular with millennials. It’s going to be a big deal for Albuquerque, in terms of putting us on the map as a city as innovative as Denver, San Francisco and Seattle, but also providing extra transit options for people who can’t yet connect to the bike system or bus system.”

Benton expressed concern regarding the city’s liability and legal protection, as well as the Albuquerque Police Department’s ability to enforce new regulations for a new kind of transportation. APD Chief of Staff John Ross told councilors the department was ready to enforce any laws on the books.

ABQ councilors approve funding for lateral police training

Benton said the use of rights of way is a sensitive matter and that the city has been careful in the past in how it regulates those rights of way.

“I’m not of the opinion that we’re ready to put something in effect,” Benton told councilors. “I’d like to see (Davis’ bill) as a starting point from where we are. I think we have a ways to go.”

A bill, sponsored by Benton, that would have declared a moratorium on operation of new shared bicycle or electric scooter services for three months, or until a regulatory framework was established, died for lack of a second.

Councilors support Medicaid buy-in study

With the council’s approval of the ordinance, officials from San Francisco-based Lime announced it will soon commence a shared scooter operation in the city.

“We are excited and hopeful for the opportunity to serve Albuquerque by providing accessible mobility options,” said Sam Dreiman, director of strategic development for Lime, in a statement. “Lime has helped hundreds of communities improve local transportation through sustainable scooter share, and we look forward to integrating ourselves into the community and working with city leadership to best fill Albuquerque’s unique transportation needs.”

Tim Harter, senior manager of government relations with Bird Electric Scooters, prepares to go for a ride during a demonstration for Albuquerque city employees. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

Lime-S scooters cost $1 to unlock and 15 cents per minute of riding.

The company also offers Lime Access, an affordability program, to improve transportation access. Lime Access riders can unlock any Lime product without a smartphone or purchase Lime credit with cash in partnership with PayNearMe, and receive a 50 percent discount on every ride.

All of Lime’s scooters are GPS- and 3G-enabled, making it simple for riders to find, unlock and pick up a nearby vehicle using their smartphone. Riders finish the ride with the Lime mobile app and park by the street curb or at a bike rack.

Lime-S riders must be 18 years or older, have a valid driver’s license and wear a helmet.

Pictured is Sydney Tellez test riding a scooter Monday afternoon at Civic Plaza downtown during a demonstration with city employees. These scooters will be coming to Albuquerque soon after city councilors approved an ordinance allowing their use on city right-of-ways. Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal
Home » News » Albuquerque News » ABQ councilors approve shared transportation vehicle ordinance


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
Home for the holidays: Local shops offer gift options ...
2022 Holiday Gift Guide
"Oh, there's no place like home ... "Oh, there's no place like home for the holidays."The sentiment rings true for many si ...
2
A little pampering: Day spa packages are a ...
2022 Holiday Gift Guide
When adults reach a certain age, ... When adults reach a certain age, it becomes difficult to shop for them, especially if they come in p ...
3
Gadgets & gizmos: Sales and deals make big-ticket items ...
2022 Holiday Gift Guide
With the holidays right around the ... With the holidays right around the corner, it is almost time to finalize those shopping lists. ...
4
Candies, cookies, cakes and more always welcome at holidays
2022 Holiday Gift Guide
Journal Staff WriterChocolate – ... Journal Staff WriterChocolate – some say it's the gift from gods. ...
5
Shiny & Bright: Add a little sparkle to the ...
2022 Holiday Gift Guide
The holiday season can be such ... The holiday season can be such a bright and shiny time of the year, so giving a little something sim ...
6
Feather a nest: Home gifts range from practical to ...
2022 Holiday Gift Guide
As winter's chill frosts the city, ... As winter's chill frosts the city, nestling at home by a cozy fire seems like the obvious choice.

7
Unwrapping fun: Toys and games light up kids’ ...
2022 Holiday Gift Guide
Nothing lights up a child's face ... Nothing lights up a child's face when unwrapping a present like a toy. Sure, socks are great and a n ...
8
Here's what you need to know for this year's ...
ABQnews Seeker
Festival of the Cranes is back ... Festival of the Cranes is back after a two-year hiatus
9
Hawaii's Mauna Loa erupts, officials warn people to prepare
ABQnews Seeker
Waves of orange, glowing lava and ... Waves of orange, glowing lava and smoky ash erupted Monday from the world's largest active volcano and people living on Hawaii's Big Island were ...