Hoboken Faces Backlash After E-Scooter Rollout

Some Hoboken officials might be having second thoughts about allowing e-scooters into their city on May 20, 2019. Just a few days after legalizing rentable e-scooters, city officials have received dozens of complaints related to these popular devices.

All of the issues locals have with these e-scooters are safety-related. Traffic cameras revealed dozens of e-scooter users running through red lights, riding on sidewalks, and driving dangerously close to oncoming traffic.

In response to these complaints, Hoboken police put up warning signs alerting e-scooter users where they aren’t allowed to ride. The California-based company Lime, whose e-scooters are on Hoboken’s streets, is also hosting free events to teach riders how to safely operate these devices. Hoboken may introduce fines for e-scooter riders.
The issues plaguing Hoboken will likely make it even more difficult for e-scooters to enter into New York City. Lawmakers in the Big Apple have yet to change their ban on e-scooters and throttle e-bikes, both of which have been in place since 2004.

In April of 2019, NY State Senators first considered a bill that would let cities determine their own laws for e-scooter and e-bikes. Given the recent issues in Hoboken, it’s unclear how far this bill will go in Albany. To read Senate Bill S5294 in full, please click on this link.

Although NYC doesn’t allow e-scooters or e-bikes, it does have a shareable bike program sponsored by Citi. New Yorkers can now rent from hundreds of stations spread throughout Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and Jersey City by using a smartphone app. For more info on Citi’s NYC bikeshare program, feel free to visit www.citibikenyc.com.