Residents express mixed feelings after plans to ditch e-scooters in downtown Raleigh

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Scooters have been the latest transportation trend to hit downtown Raleigh, but come Thursday, the city says all of the Bird and Lime scooters will be gone.

“They’re a great way to get around downtown, convenient, fun,” said Kennedy Weible, who lives in Raleigh.

“I think they’re a really great transportation option especially for our marginalized communities,” said Kae Diaz, a frequent scooter rider who lives in Downtown Raleigh.

“I think those scooters are death traps,” said Andrew Josephs, who lives in Raleigh. “I can’t tell you how many kids I see flying on them, not abiding by the traffic laws. My brother-in-law’s an ER doctor. He says he sees people coming in there all the time getting operated on getting hit and they’re running wild.”

The city says if Bird doesn’t remove all of its scooters from the streets by tomorrow, they will. The city says their transportation crews will pick up Byrd scooters left behind. The company can get them back by paying the city for its man power and time. Lime scooters are still allowed on NC State’s campus, if the city finds one off campus they’ll call lime and give them two hours to pick it up.

One of the major issues with the scooters has been people leaving them in dangerous places.

“I park in a parking deck I see them up there,” complained Josephs. “I don’t know how they get there. I see them in pools things like that. They need to make laws about how to operate them and not have them running wild in our downtown.”

A new Charleston-based company called Gotcha plans to solve that. They will create scooter hubs throughout the city to find scooters easy for riders to find and keep the city cleaner. Gotcha says they are working on hiring staff and finding a warehouse before their scooters will hit the streets, they are not sure when that will be.

Some locals worry about how that will impact the people who depend on scooters for transportation.

“There’s a disconnect from getting to the bus stop from people’s houses so that extra mobility is really important to a lot of people,” said Diaz.

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