Jun 23 2019
04:22 pm


Nashville is banishing the scooters after its first scooter-related death. The city’s mayor David Briley notified seven scooter companies operating in Nashville he was ending the pilot project and banning electric scooters from the streets, according to a letter he posted to Twitter Friday.

“We have seen the public safety and accessibility costs that these devices inflict, and it is not fair to our residents for this to continue,” Briley writes. “If these devices return in the future, it will be after a public process, on our terms, with strict oversight for numbers, safety, and accessibility.”

tlc's picture


Florida's new governor, Ron DeSantis (R), just signed a law approving the use of e-scooters statewide, with the EASING of typical regs on usage. This, in spite of the increasing national reports on how dangerous the devices are.

And then, two days after the guv's action...this, in Tampa, a city which recently began allowing their use:


Scooters in FL communities allowing them can now legally be used on both streets and sidewalks. Regulations can be tightened at the local level, at least.

michael kaplan's picture

Bird CEO Travis VanderZanden:

Bird CEO Travis VanderZanden: “The places where there are no laws, that’s where we go in.”

michael kaplan's picture

from Bloomberg news: No

from Bloomberg news:

No company has been able to break into the U.K. because of strict laws that classify the scooters as motor vehicles requiring drivers’ licenses and subject to tax and insurance. Even then, regulators won’t allow scooters because they don’t comply with “normal vehicle construction rules.” Riding on the sidewalk isn’t an option, either, thanks to a 19th century law stipulating footpaths are for the sole use of pedestrians.

DCROSS1968's picture


I was in Nashville back in March and people were all over the place on the scooters. Running right out in trafic. I told my Uber driver that day that someone would get killed on one.

bizgrrl's picture

Nashville will not ban e-scooters

Nashville will not ban e-scooters.

Metro council advanced legislation that would reduce the number of scooters allowed on Nashville's streets and introduce new rules about where they can be used and how violations are handled.

Here is the proposed legislation, courtesy of WPLN.

Actually, they did terminate current permits and are allowing temporary permits until all is settled. You wanna bet lawsuits are on the way?

michael kaplan's picture

it's about revenue

I suppose one could search for any city, but - as an example - these figures are from Indianapolis:

Figures from the (Indianapolis) Department of Business and Neighborhood Services (BNS) show the city collected more than $367,000 from Bird and Lime scooters from Sept. 4, 2018 through Dec. 31, 2018. Each paid a $15,000 licensing fee to operate in Indianapolis. And they paid the $1/per scooter per day fee, again from Sept. 4- Dec. 31st. For Bird that amounted to $177,148 and for Lime $160,347.

bizgrrl's picture

Wow! Guess they'll never go


Guess they'll never go away with all that revenue. Wonder if they'll ever get regulated, e.g. not on sidewalks?

michael kaplan's picture

They may get regulated, but

They may get regulated, but how to enforce? Cities don't get sued for accidents just because they permit automobiles to use their streets. What's troublesome is that cities take a cut (or commission, if you will) on money that leaves the local economy. That was true of the red light camera fines ... it's the principle of tariffs.

bizgrrl's picture

Yeah, that's what I meant.

Yeah, that's what I meant.

Bill Lyons's picture

Scooters in Knoxville

Knoxville, like most cities, sees a successful scooter program as providing a last mile, low emission, alternative to automobiles. This is primarily a sustainability issue that is also very helpful to many local residents such as the South Knoxville restaurant worker who rides a scooter to and from work each day.

We learned from other cities such as Nashville by (1) choosing a limited number of operators with (2) a limited number of scooters (3) to operate in limited geofenced areas (such as Market Square) under specific conditions. We discouraged those companies whose model is to deploy large quantities of scooters first prior to any regulatory framework and to seek forgiveness later. Nashville's second approach to the scooter situation looks very much like what Knoxville has implemented.

All cities have found difficulty in enforcing prohibitions such as riding on sidewalks and improper rider placement of scooters; we are no exception. We are working with the providers to better educate users through placement of stickers on the scooters.

This is a pilot program and we are consistently evaluating the benefits of the program vs. the negative impacts. Cities have to find ways to encourage innovation, especially in the transportation arena where the use of the automobile has such negative environmental consequences. Just in the last few years we have dealt with the challenge of finding and creating best practices for dealing with ridesharing, short term rentals, food trucks, and now scooters. While the state of Tennessee pre-empted regulation of Uber and Lyft, we, along with other Tennessee cities, have pressed those in the General Assembly to let us find the best regulatory scheme for each community in the other arenas. We have appreciated their cooperation to that end.

Finally, the reason nations place tariffs on goods coming into that country is to protect local producers of that good. I don't think cities have instituted fees on scooter providers to protect any local scooter companies, especially since any local operator would also pay the fee. That comparison just does not fit and we are not in the business of inhibiting interstate commerce. Rather fees are imposed because there are certain expenses associated with the regulation of scooters, which also reflect private interests' utilization of public space for placement. When cities associate a fee for scooter use the funds collected, as in other such situations, go to the provision of public services and amenities to city residents.

Thanks for everyone's patience as we work through this pilot program. I am on the downtown sidewalks every day and evening. The sidewalk riding problem is lessening with experience but not yet where it should be. We are gradually making alternations when necessary. For instance we have had to eliminate use in World's Fair Park because of irresponsible use there by juveniles. I am personally very pleased that Mayor Rogero has adopted the approach of looking to find ways to encourage innovative technologies, but only after carefully studying what works and does not work in other communities and after relevant stakeholder involvement. Thanks.

michael kaplan's picture

the reason nations place

the reason nations place tariffs on goods coming into that country is to protect local producers of that good.

That's only one reason. Obviously, whatever fee the city receives from scooter rental is not, strictly speaking, a 'tariff.' I was making an analogy based on defintions provided by various sources, quoted below:

Tariffs have three primary functions: (1) to serve as a source of revenue; (2) to protect domestic industries; and (3) to remedy trade distortions (punitive function). The revenue function comes from the fact that the income from tariffs provides governments with a source of tax revenue.

Revenue tariff is a tax applied to imported and exported goods in order to increase the revenue of a regional or national government. An example of a revenue tariff in a business is the tax applied to all imported oil in the United States.

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