Arvada City Council hears update on micromobilty pilot program

Public works director to decide fate of e-scooters in Arvada

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Arvada’s City Council heard an update on the city’s micromobility pilot program — which concerns the use of rentable e-scooters within city limits — and generally supported extending the pilot program, which has been running since January.

The Nov. 14 council meeting was a workshop; no official vote was made. City team members presented their findings of the pilot program for council discussion. The future of the program will be decided by Public Works Director Jacqueline Rhoades. The pilot program expires in January.

Bird scooters has been the city’s only vendor since the pilot program began, and the company operates about 85 scooters per day in the pilot program’s service area, which is situated within one square mile around each G-Line RTD stop.

“If we are to move forward, I think I would like to see a larger boundary,” City Councilmember Lauren Simpson said.

Kellee Van Bruggen, Arvada’s bike and pedestrian coordinator, said that first and last mile connectivity to the G-Line, which was initially the main driver of the project, has not been how folks have been utilizing the scooters.

“When the Transportation Advisory Committee first met, they talked about the first-last mile connection to transit,” Van Bruggen said. “our data is showing that’s not necessarily the main reason people are using scooters. It’s pretty low.”

Data from the pilot program collected from Jan. 26 to Sept. 30 shows that there have been 10,177 total trips, averaging 5.8 minutes and a distance of 0.6 miles.

Main concerns about the program include scooter parking, underage riders and rules around the scooters. 80% of respondents to a city survey agreed or strongly agreed that the e-scooters are improperly parked.

The city has purchased five parking racks for the scooters, two of which have been implemented.

Councilmembers suggested increased vendor oversight and working with vendors to incentivize proper parking as potential remedies to that issue.

Van Bruggen said Olde Town Arvada is the highest-use area, followed by park areas and the Walmart on Ralston Road.

Another vendor, Lime, has submitted an application to the city that will likely be in limbo pending Rhoades’ decision.

“Some people are very for it, some people are very against it,” City Councilmember John Marriott said. “I’d recommend another pilot program and injecting some competition.”

City Spokesperson Katie Patterson said that Rhoades will work with Van Bruggen and Manager of Mobility and Planning Infrastructure John Firouzi on the decision. The trio will weigh resident feedback and council feedback as well.

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