Tucson Makes E-Scooter Pilot Into Permanent Program

Tucson’s e-scooter 12-month pilot program – which began in September of 2019 – has been made permanent. For the pilot, the City of Tucson’s Department of Transportation and Mobility (DTM) selected Spin and Razor to provide e-scooters, as well as enhanced safety and education requirements, and parking corrals to keep sidewalks clear of obstructions. 

According to the city, riders averaged 650 e-scooter trips per day, which totaled more than 430,000 total trips taken during the pilot program’s duration. During the pilot, the city monitored the data collected from program financial reports and a community involved online survey, as well as e-scooter related injury data collected by Pima County Health Services. It was found that the majority of users sought a low cost, quick, short trip option –  with the average trip distance being about .86 miles (~1.4 km) and the average trip duration about nine minutes.

The City has now updated the permit rules and minimum requirements for e-scooter companies.  The permit program does require vendors to test out new sidewalk-riding detection technology – and increase education and outreach efforts – in order to maintain unobstructed sidewalks. Spin will debut their scooters equipped with Spin Insight Level 2 – a sidewalk-riding detection technology powered by Drover AI. The system relies on onboard sensors, artificial intelligence, and computer vision to detect when riders are on the sidewalk instead of the street or a bike lane, and then sound an alarm to tell riders to correct their actions. Riders will also receive an in-app warning informing them that sidewalk riding is prohibited.

Each e-scooter vendor will supply up to 500 e-scooters in town, with the option to deploy more if ridership goals are met. For each ride, 20 cents will be collected by the city.