Set for a spring launch, the City of Phoenix plans to introduce a six-month pilot to explore a possible expansion of the Shared Micromobility Program which allows customers to rent e-bikes and e-scooters for short trips in downtown Phoenix. This pilot will test the waters with 24/7 operating hours of the existing boundaries in an attempt to transform the city’s transportation landscape.

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Since its launch in in January 2023, customers have taken 377, 877 trips on Lime Micromobility and Spin scooters in downtown Phoenix. Now city council members want to expand the program. At a City of Phoenix of Phoenix Transportation, Infrastructure and Planning Subcommittee meeting on Jan. 31st, councilmembers said they want to approve a pilot starting soon that will expand boundaries where trips can be taken, add vendors and allow 24/7 access as well as introduce traditional bicycles to the program. An analysis of data from the pilot will be reported to the TIP subcommittee in September.

A public survey of 309 people indicated support for expanding the program, with 84% welcoming the idea of having the program available in their neighborhoods. Additionally, 84% of participants expressed dissatisfaction with the current scope of the program.

Briianna Velez, the City of Phoenix assistant street transportation director, shared the areas and events that have been benefitting from the Shared Micromobility Program.

“This program has really been supporting particularly in our Downtown Phoenix area, special events like Super Bowl, First Fridays, when we have concerts as well as day-to-day transportation needs for residents in Phoenix,” said Velez.

TIP councilmembers gave a green light to the pilot program but voiced questions and concerns as they sought assurances on its implications for the community.

Councilwoman Kesha Hodge Washington of Dist. 8 asked to address current issues before the implementation of the pilot.

“I don’t want us to roll out the 24/7 of what we currently see is happening right now. We need to at least address some of the issues that we’ve heard and make sure they’re incorporated into the pilot,” Washington said.

At the meeting, downtown Phoenix resident Richard Hauch spoke of concerns with parts of the program, including micromobility parking stickers placed in their neighborhood. These decals act as designated parking for e-scooters and e-bikes.

“The issue with the stickers is that they were placed in areas that aren’t conducive with the flow of people, especially the ones who live here. They are placed in areas that make it more dangerous for pedestrians and other micromobility users,” Hauch said.

Hauch emphasized the need for a collaborative approach with the community in the event of the program’s growth.

“My concern is that when expanding the program, there must be strictly enforced parking corrals placed in areas where the surrounding community designates as the best location,” Hauch said.

After its launching on Jan. 20, 2023, the Shared Micromobility Program achieved a total of 337,877 trips in ridership in 10 months.

Charlie Mastoloni, the senior government relations manager at Lime, and Brit Moller, the head of public policy and communications at Spin, sent expansion preference letters to the city.

The vendor officials encouraged a progressive expansion of Lime and Spin e-bikes and e-scooters within Phoenix. Approved access would allow expansion to several communities, including Midtown, Uptown, Biltmore, north Phoenix and Glendale near the Cardinals stadium.

“As discussed previously, we would recommend a gradual expansion of the approved Service Area to the north where there are already strong indications of unmet user demand,” Moller’s letter read.

City of Phoenix Public Information Officer Gregg Bach commented on where community members can find additional information on the development.

“Information about the proposed expansion and ways for residents to provide input will be updated as needed on,” Bach said.