Boulder will soon release its new e-scooter pilot program in East Boulder with hopes of reducing vehicular travel through shared rides.
The program is part of a collaboration between Boulder, Lime, BCycle, the University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder County and the Boulder Chamber, a news release said.
The program comes after the City Council in September agreed to allow dockless e-scooter and e-bike companies to operate in the city, the release said. In March, the city issued a request for proposal to solicit companies for a “shared micromobility program” and selected Lime and BCycle for the program. Bid requests were reviewed by the city, CU Boulder and Boulder County.
“We are pleased that so many partners who share values around multimodal transportation options and climate solutions have come together to make this program a reality,” said David Kang, CU Boulder vice chancellor for infrastructure and sustainability, in the news release. “E-scooters and e-bikes have the potential to be transformational in our efforts to get cars off the road while also improving the quality of transportation services for our students, faculty, staff and the broader community in ways that are cleaner and more sustainable.”
Boulder Senior Transportation Planner David “DK” Kemp said there is no funding commitment for the city or any of the other partners.
“BCycle and Lime are both private companies,” he said. “They provide the operation and recoup the expense through the use of those bikes (and scooters) and potential corporate sponsorships.”
Beginning Wednesday, Lime will deploy 200 e-scooters in East Boulder, east of 28th Street, to provide non-vehicular travel options for area employees, students and residents, the release said. East Boulder was chosen for the e-scooter pilot program because it is one of the top employment centers in the city, is home to CU Boulder’s East Campus and has several commercial areas.
The dockless e-scooters will be deployed in zones that allow for clear, unobstructed passage of pedestrians on or near sidewalks and in commercial areas. Lime is required to collect all e-scooters and replace them at deployment zones daily.
The e-scooters have a speed limit of 15 mph and can be used from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.
Scooters will be inoperable west of 28th Street, including on the CU Boulder main campus. They will shut down if users try to take them out of designated areas.
The city and Lime will track e-scooter usage data and evaluate the program after one year, according to the release.
BCycle will operate Boulder’s bike share system and expand e-bike access. The program will take effective Friday. Nonprofit Boulder Bike Sharing previously operated the city’s bike share program in partnership with BCycle.
In the next few months, BCycle will convert the Boulder BCycle system to a fully electric pedal assist e-bike fleet and will expand the station footprint to provide access to shared e-bikes for more community members. The expansion will increase access with new stations in East and South Boulder and more stations in Central and North Boulder.
The e-bikes will be available for use daily at anytime, said city spokesperson Samantha Glavin.