Cleveland city council is currently considering the required reintroduction of shared mobility legislation that would now include a few changes governing scooters going forward as the city nears the end of a one-year trial period with micro-mobility rides.
(Spin, Lime, Bird, VeoRide and Wheels had all pulled their scooters and bikes from Cleveland streets at the request of Mayor Frank Jackson in early May as the city evaluated its response to the spread of the coronavirus.)
Councilman Kerry McCormack told Scene the legislation had a first read last week and is set to be considered by a council committee next Wednesday. There's a meeting of the whole the same day, so the legislation could conceivably be passed as soon as June 3.
Things could evolve, but currently there would be two major changes in operations, both proposed in response to early and vocal feedback from riders.
First, the speed limit cap would be raised to 15 mph from 12 mph.
"Folks that used it for commuting or for day-to-day activity were concerned that 12 mph wasn't fast enough, with being in the street, for safety," McCormack said. "A lot of other cities have it capped at 15 mph now."
McCormack has also requested that the city extend the hours during which scooters and electric bikes can operate. Last year, scooters shut off at the ungodly lunch hour of 7 p.m.
"That time frame would be adjusted so that they operate from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.," McCormack said.
Barring a surprise, the scoots should be back on the streets in June with all the companies taking extra precautions to clean and disinfect rides, much like they were doing this spring.
The deployment comes as the councilman expects, finally, for the city to see concrete proposals to amend the Complete and Green Streets ordinance to put some teeth into it in the interest of protecting everyone — bicyclists, scooter users, pedestrians.
Separately but relatedly, the city plans to allow Cleveland's new bike share to launch at the same time as the scooters.
After the sad tailspin that precipitated the unceremonious death of the UH Bikes program last year, which included bike graveyards
, ever-declining service and finally UH's decision to withdraw from sponsoring
the program, things can only get better with the arrival of HOPR.
A few things will be different this time around.
Notably, the bikes are unlocked, locked and paid for by scanning a QR code with your phone, much in the same fashion as renting scooters, via the HOPR app.
Another difference, the bikes themselves, a snazzy and "sharply dressed black and teal" color combo, according to the company, feature "airless tires, auto-running front and rear lights, and multiple internal gears."
Riders can expect the bikes — hundreds of them — to be placed at former UH Bike locations, where they'll be rebalanced and redistributed after use.
And the bikes are dock optional, meaning you don't have to find a HOPR dock to stop your ride.
Rates for that ride, since you're probably wondering, are pretty standard.
$1 to unlock the bike and $0.15 per minute after that, or $15 for a full day pass, or $30 for a 30-day pass with 60 minutes of usage a day before a $0.15 per minute charge.
SNAP recipients can score a 30-day pass with 60 minutes of usage over the month and only $0.10 per minute after that for just $5.
If you used UH Bikes before and have credits on your account, HOPR will allow you to transfer them in full.