A new pilot program offers fun, dockless electric transportation around Denver

I have watched Denver grow as a hub for innovative transportation over the years. Bike-friendly roads, B-Cycle docks and public transportation are making Denver neighborhoods more convenient and livable than ever.

This past May, dockless electric scooters and bikes flooded the Denver streets. Now, over 1,500 dockless scooters and 400 dockless bikes are available for rent across the city.

Appearing overnight, Bird and competitor Lime deployed hundreds of dockless electric scooters on Denver’s streets. The revolutionary aspect of these “vehicles” is that when you are done riding, you simply leave it at your destination.

Using an app, you can locate a nearby scooter and unlock it for $1 and ride for 15¢ per minute. The scooters are electric, reaching a max speed just under 15 miles-per-hour and a range of 20-plus miles. And they’re fun!

A stir

By dumping their devices on Denver streets — as they have in other cities — in an attempt to win the hearts and minds of consumers, these companies asked for forgiveness of the city rather than permission.

In the wake of Bird and Lime’s launch, Denver officials called for the immediate removal of the scooters. The city began impounding the dockless vehicles, citing ordinances that regulate private property — the scooters — being left on public ways — the sidewalks.

A short month later and Denver Public Works announced a new pilot program, granting permits to five dockless scooter and three dockless bike companies.

The city and operators will work together over the next year to figure out how this will help Denver provide more flexible, affordable and environmentally-friendly transportation options.

Regulations are in place to limit where scooters can be parked — a nationwide issue plaguing the scooter’s launch (see the Instagram page @Scootersbehvingbadly).

The scooters must be ridden on sidewalks and riders will be encouraged to end rides near public transportation, parking in designated zones. Operators are required to “rebalance” the distribution of scooters throughout the day and overnight.

Revenue from the pilot program will go toward city maintenance and designing more multi-purpose spaces throughout Denver.

So who charges these things? Lime and Bird offers positions as “juicers” — sweep the streets for stray scooters at night, bring them home to charge and return them in designated areas in the morning.

[I don’t know about you, but I’m even considering buying one. This guy has a great guide to buying an electric scooter — check it out.]

A perfect way to home tour

I am excited by another convenient and fun way to get around Denver. Dockless vehicles could be great supplement to public transportation.

Instead of finishing your ride home from work on the light rail with a 15-minute walk, hop on a scooter and leave it outside your door!

The city is growing ever-connected and I am encouraged seeing such innovative ideas supported.

I may host a Cherry Creek home and neighborhood tour via scooter as the beautiful fall colors set in. Let me know if you are interested! 720.877.1538