NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The fate of dockless scooters in Nashville hangs in the balance.
Metro Council members overnight Wednesday approved an upcoming vote on whether to allow companies to stay in operation before a long-term solution.
The option, one of three on the table Tuesday night, including Mayor David Briley’s temporary ban.
If the proposal passes, the short-term changes that would take effect immediately include fleets reduced by 50-percent, limited hours of operation, a special hotline for A.D.A. concerns, and a two-hour response time to parking complaints.
The proposal’s long-term solution is to come up with a selection process or Request For Proposal (RFP) to keep up to three scooter companies in Nashville long-term.
Currently, there are seven scooter companies in operation in Music City.
Mobility advocate Lindsey Ganson from Walk Bike Nashville called Tuesday’s meeting a step in the right direction.
“We’re really happy that the city and scooter providers were able to come to a compromise and keep scooters on the street at least for the temporary part,” said Ganson.
Council Member Freddie O’Connell represents scooter-dense District 19.
“Let’s get the best and most serious operators, see if they can perform to a standard that we are actually serious about setting forward and then rigorous about adhering to,” said O’Connell.
Among the standards – looking beyond law enforcement.
O’Connell suggests companies incur their own penalties, like fines for bad parking.
“There are tons of things the platforms could be doing and we’re going to need the RFP to spell those out,” said O’Connell.
Ganson said the solution will also come from education and infrastructure.
“The top priority would be building bike lanes because infrastructure is 24/7 enforcement,” said Ganson.
But banning scooters is still on the table. Metro Council will have the option for that vote on August 20.
Mayor Briley’s proposed temporary ban didn’t get the support it hoped for, something O’Connell said would’ve helped down the road.
“I’m afraid that the sense that these could be a useful mobility option for people will still be lost on people who see them as anything from a nuisance to menace,” said O’Connell.
News 2 reached out the sponsor of the full scooter ban, Councilman Steve Glover, but have not heard back.
The vote on the proposal is set for the next council meeting in two weeks.