As we have previously written, Charlotte like many other cities has been overtaken by electric scooters. It is unlikely that you will spend very much time in uptown Charlotte without seeing someone riding electric scooters that they can rent through an app on their phone. This issue of scooters in the city has been a hot button issue in the Queen City, as it has been in other cities as well. While most of the focus on these scooters has been positive, some other municipalities (Columbia, South Carolina) have out and out banned them. Other cities have also legislated the issue of scooters which has caused new rules on how many scooters can be in a city, where they can be ridden and issues related to keeping riders, drivers and pedestrians safe.
While Charlotte has embraced scooters and also addressed some issues through city government, the latest news on the issue of electronic scooters has to do with the city’s plan to Charge the scooter companies a premium for allowing the scooters in the city. Until now Charlotte was one of the few cities that has not been charging the scooter companies for access to the Charlotte market. Because of the issues that come with these scooters – those relating to the scooters effect on the Charlotte infrastructure, it was only a matter of time before Charlotte put together a plan to charge these scooter companies. While this may not sound like anything that should alarm folks that use them, it should be noted that some are concerned with the possibility that these costs will be passed down to riders, increasing the cost of a ride.
Local news has recently reported that Charlotte is preparing to charge the companies a “dynamic pricing” structure which equates to various monthly fees that depend on how riders use their scooters. For example, the companies could be charged more when riders park scooters inappropriately, don’t wear helmets or park scooters in low-usage areas. In turn, the cities hope that the companies will encourage their riders to ride with helmets, not block sidewalks or park near mass transit and high-use areas. This “good behavior” would save the companies money as opposed to having to pay more for rider bad behavior. At the time of this post, no exact details on the pricing plan have been released.
Most other scooter friendly cities in NC charge the scooter companies a type of annual fee, though they are not uniform. For example, Greensboro charges $50 per scooter and Durham charges $100. In Raleigh the city is charged a $300 annual per-scooter fee which has caused them to charge riders a $2 per trip surcharge. It remains to be seen how Charlotte will be affected once this planned pricing structure has been implemented. Any of these programs that result in the cities becoming safer is a good thing. Unfortunately, there is no news on plans to enforce any liability insurance requirements for riders. With our office receiving regular calls on injuries related to electronic scooters, it is important to note that it can be very difficult to recover against a negligent scooter rider or any other negligent person if there is no insurance coverage. Maybe that issue will someday be resolved.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in an accident in Charlotte, or elsewhere in the Carolinas, give us a call. Our team of experienced lawyers want to see if they can help. We are happy to speak to you about the facts of your case to find out if we are able to help. Anyone that calls will receive a free case evaluation to find out more about their options for moving forward after their accident. Call us at 855-969-5671 to speak to someone today!