Fourth scooter company concerns Indianapolis paramedics

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A fourth scooter company will soon make its way to town, but paramedics hope the extra riders don’t increase the number of ambulance runs.

Indianapolis EMS has tracked the number of patients it’s transported to the hospital who had gotten hurt on scooters. Statistics started in September, which showed 21 scooter riders were taken in an ambulance. October had 24 people, followed by 18 in November and 12 in December.

So far in 2019, April has the most transports with six, but Indianapolis EMS believes numbers will rise as the season shifts to summer.

"We know it’s kind of part of the way Indianapolis is going to operate for the near future and we want people to understand there are potentially dangerous vehicles," said Indianapolis EMS public affairs manager, Brian Van Bokkelen.

Two companies have placed scooters around the city for months, Byrd and Lime. On Thursday, the city said it reached a deal with Lyft to start providing eScooters. Ford's company, called Spin, has also reached a deal to bring its service to town.

"The more that are here, the greater chance for there to be problems involving them," said Van Bokkelen.

The city said its Department of Business and Neighborhood Services (BNS) Board is scheduled to meet next month to introduce and adopt several scooter regulations, which could include caps on the number of companies allowed to operate in the city, caps on the number of scooters permitted, and restrictions regarding where companies are allowed to place scooters.

Gary Mitchell said he doesn't have a car and would like to see the scooter companies spread their rides further across town.

"I don’t believe there’s too many in town," Mitchell said. "I do believe there’s not enough on the outskirts of downtown."

The City reminded residents following the Lyft announcement that scooters are not to be ridden on sidewalks, trails, the Canal Walkway, or at the White River State Park. Also, scooters must be parked upright and left at least 4 feet of unobstructed passageway.

"Take care of yourself and protect yourself," Van Bokkelen said. "Don’t do anything crazy when you’re on them. Just watch out for them, because they’re out there and they go pretty quick."

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