• Hoboken Launches Electric Scooter Sharing Program

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    It’s official, electric scooters have rolled out {pun intended} in Hoboken. On May 20th, the city launched its new electric scooter program across the Mile Square as the first city in NJ to take on electric scooters as a method of transport. The vehicles are powered by Lime Scooters and Ojo Electric and will work with Jersey Bike Share for pick-up and drop-off stations. Keep reading to learn more about the e-scooter program in the Mile Square.

    ojo scooters

    {Photo credit: @ojoelectric}

    In April, the City of Hoboken officially passed an ordinance that allows electric scooters to be driven throughout the Mile Square. Hoboken will welcome an electric scooter sharing program with two companies, Lime and P3GM. The contracts for each company denote six-month pilot programs and both Lime and P3GM {same operator as JerseyBike} will provide e-scooters for everyone in town.

    The passing of this e-scooter ordinance makes Hoboken the first New Jersey city to do so. It also marks Hoboken as one of the only cities to allow e-scooters in the tristate area.

    “I am thrilled Hoboken is leading the way for the rest of the state to implement an additional mode of green transportation,”  Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla said in a statement. “Thank you to Director Ryan Sharp and his team for making this launch a reality.”

    hoboken transportation director ryan sharp electric shooter

    {Hoboken Transportation Director Ryan Sharp testing out the electric scooters}

    The e-scooters now approved by the City of Hoboken constitute motorized scooters with the ability to go up to 20 miles per hour. Per the ordinance, these e-scooters will be permitted in the city’s bike lanes; however, they will not be allowed on sidewalks.

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    The Ojo scooters will have designated docking stations throughout the Hoboken, shared with the current Hudson Bike share ones. Lime scooters won’t have stations; instead, residents and visitors alike can grab the dockless Lime scooters anywhere and return them anywhere in the City without a station.

    For the Lime scooters, users should download the Lime app and scan or enter a code to unlock a scooter for use. When they’re done being used, the scooters can be parked at any appropriate location. Find more info on Lime rentals here.

    For the Ojo scooters, the vehicles will operate under the Jersey Bike Share stations, meaning that bike and scooters and be rented and returned via Jersey Bike Share docks. For more information on Ojo bike rentals, click here.

    ojo scooter

    {The Ojo scooter}

    In regards to road rules, the City of Hoboken issued a few reminders to residents via Twitter. The City reminded riders to yield to pedestrians, obey traffic rules, stop signs, + signals, not to ride on the sidewalk, to travel in the direction of traffic, and to not block crosswalks or sidewalks when parking a vehicle.

    While Hoboken is on its way to become one of the first cities in New Jersey to have an e-scooter sharing program, it’s hardly the first of its kind in the U.S.

    Scoot Networks has been available in San Francisco since its initial launch in 2012. In 2017, dockless scooters began picking up speed in cities like Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles, and in 2018, Revel launched in New York City.

    Scooter share programs are also huge in Europe, with cities like Berlin, Madrid, and Paris being epicenters of huge fleets of shared electric scooters.

    Portland, Oregon has also recently dabbled in electric scooter share programs. After a four-month sharing pilot last summer and fall, 62% of residents gave the program a positive rating. Seventy-one percent of Portland users said they used the e-scooters most frequently to get to a destination, while 42% took scooters instead of bikes. Of visitors, 48% took an e-scooter in the place of driving a car or using a car service.

    lime scooter

    {The Lime scooter}

    One of the biggest motivations in bringing an e-scooter share service to Hoboken is its sustainability factor. Electric scooter programs are most common in urban cities with lots of traffic. Not only do they provide more efficient modes of transportation that don’t contribute to the congestion, but they also have a relatively low carbon footprint.

    “Electric scooters will help residents easily travel around our city, reduce congestion on our roadways, and improve access to transit stations and business districts,” Mayor Bhalla added. “This is another way Hoboken is leading the way in implementing environmentally responsible transportation initiatives.”

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    Another one of the draws of e-scooters is their efficiency. Compared with taxis, Ubers, Lyfts, and bike shares, electric scooters are low in cost and generally account for a shorter, quicker trip.

    That being said, Hoboken offers a host of transportation options to its residents and visitors. Now that electric scooters join the ranks, that list of transportation alternatives also includes JerseyBike bike share, Zipcar car sharing, the free HOP bus service, and more.

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    Written by:

    Steph Osmanski is a freelance writer who specializes in sustainability and health and wellness content. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at Stony Brook Southampton.


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