Scooters return to the Indy streets, but with new regulations

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – One of the most popular new forms of transportation, electric scooters, are back on Indy streets. The scooters were pulled off the streets back in July over disagreements in safety regulations, but now two companies, Lime and Bird, are back in operation.

“I’m pretty excited they’re back,” said scooter rider Tanner Brumbarger. “Indy is a very walk-able city, but having scooters back makes short term transportation even easier.”

However, riders like Brumbarger will now have to follow a new set of rules. Riders will now have to ride their scooters in the street. They won’t be allowed on sidewalks, or trails like the Monon, cultural trail or the canal walk. Scooters must be parked upright leaving at least four feet of walk space on sidewalks and doorways, and riders also have to wear a helmet.

“I haven’t really seen it enforced,” said Brumbarger. “But I mean if you look at Indy’s streets, there’s not really a place to ride it except for the cultural trail. It’s not safe to ride them on Indy streets.”

IMPD and the Department of Business and Neighborhood Services will be enforcing the rules, but say they’ll be taking a more educational approach before they begin issuing any fines.

“With these new scooters being in the area, we want to be able to educate and make sure they’re being safe on the scooters,” said Sgt. Jim Gillespie with IMPD. “But in the end, if they don’t abide by the rules they can be cited.”

Even with the new rules, some riders still feel the trails are the safest place to ride.

“If you allow bikes on the trails, you should definitely allow scooters as well since they’re about the same speed capability,” said scooter rider Anderson Smith. “You can probably maneuver a little better on the scooters than on a bike.”

Lime released 250 scooters on Tuesday, and that number will soon increase to 1,500 in the coming days.

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