E-scooters headed to Little Rock, Lime to launch pilot program

Electric scooter-sharing company Lime is expected to set up in Little Rock around the first of the year. (Photo: Lime)

They've taken over cities across the country and around the world. They're electric scooters and they're headed to Little Rock likely before the end of the year.

Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola said he's been in talks with e-scooter sharing company Lime.

"I executed a pilot agreement with them for up to six months where we're going to try them out and see whether people like them," said Stodola in an interview with KATV.

Stodola said the pilot program seeks to drop up to 500 e-scooters in various locations across Little Rock, expected predominantly downtown and in neighborhoods east of Fair Park Boulevard.

“We have been working collaboratively with Mayor Mark Stodola and the City of Little Rock to develop a pilot program that offers residents and visitors an easy-to-use, alternative transportation solution," said Todd O'Boyle, Lime's development director who is overseeing the launch in Little Rock. "We’re incredibly excited to be the only e-scooter provider in Little Rock and we are eager to share details about the official launch in the coming weeks."

It'll make the capital city the second city in Arkansas to offer e-scooters. Russellville launched a pilot program at Arkansas Tech University with the scooter-share company Bird.

But as e-scooters make their way to central Arkansas, countless other cities are trying to do away with them. Problems with property damage caused by riders, the nuisance of them being left wherever riders choose and, most of all, the safety of riders have all been concerns created by the popularization of e-scooters.

"I think if we do a good job of communicating to the public what the rules are - and if they, if people will respect other people, other pedestrians and other people on the streets, hopefully this will be a success," said Stodola. "But that's why it's a pilot."

One of the issues still to be ironed out for their arrival in Little Rock is whether electric scooters will be ridden on the street or on the sidewalk.

"Part of the issue is whether we have an ordinance now that says that they cannot be on the streets, but on the sidewalks," said Stodola.

Whether or not that ordinance applies to e-scooters has yet to be determined.

Stodola says Lime's entrance into Little Rock will come at no cost to the city. The company is already on the ground and hiring scooter mechanics and scooter chargers to be prepared for the pilot program's launch around the New Year.

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