St. Louis Extends Ban On Downtown Scooters

Don't expect to see the electric scooters downtown until possibly early 2023

click to enlarge The scooter ban remains in place. - DANIEL HILL
DANIEL HILL
The scooter ban remains in place.

Downtown St. Louis will not be seeing electric scooters strewn across the sidewalks anytime soon.

The city banned scooters in the downtown and Downtown West neighborhoods earlier this summer after a string of public safety incidents, including an incident where two teen girls were shot in their thighs in early June. The city announced this afternoon that the ban will stay in place until the end of 2022.

Director of Public Safety Dan Isom wrote a letter to scooter companies Bird and Lime informing them of the decision. In the letter released today, Isom said that since the ban started, residents of the downtown and Downtown West neighborhoods have had "quieter weekends.

"With these developments in mind, as well as community feedback from businesses and residents in these neighborhoods, the City of St. Louis has decided to continue halting scooter sharing operations," Isom wrote. "The City of St. Louis will continue to take a comprehensive approach in updating the scooter permit to address issues and concerns raised by residents, businesses, and community stakeholders."

The city is expected to revisit the decision in early 2023, the letter continued, and will depend on community feedback and performance. After the ban went into place, Fifth Ward Alderman James Page told St. Louis Public Radio that it would not be a permanent situation, and that city officials would work to find a long-term solution.

Scooters are still available in other neighborhoods in St. Louis, Isom said.

Adam Davis, Senior Manager of Government Partnerships at Bird, said the company is "deeply disappointed by the city's' decision to continue cutting off an essential, eco-friendly mode of transportation from downtown St. Louis at a time when many cannot afford to pay for gas to get to work or other necessary appointments and Metro Transit expects service disruptions for weeks."

"It's especially troubling that the city is regulating an essential private business, in the name of safety, and yet violent incidents persist downtown," the statement from Davis continues. "Despite operators’ community engagement efforts and hundreds of St. Louisans asking their elected officials to bring Bird back to the downtown area, the City continues to scapegoat e-scooters amidst unrelated city safety problems.”

This article has been updated with a comment from Bird.

About The Author

Jenna Jones

Jenna Jones is one of the digital content editors at the Riverfront Times. She would love to talk to you about Harry Styles.
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