NEW ORLEANS - Today, Transportation Committee Chair Councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer and Mayor LaToya Cantrell's Administration announced the City will not move forward with implementing an electric scooter program. Since May, they have been working to establish a pilot program to permit and regulate dockless electric scooters and the companies operating them. After research, community feedback, and weekly meetings to discuss potential regulations, both the City Council and the Cantrell administration have determined that a pilot program is not feasible at this time.
"We worked collaboratively to craft legislation to explore this new technology option, but the potential complications for public safety are too high for us to move forward," said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. "As we continue to improve the City's infrastructure, we will place ourselves in a better position to incorporate transportation alternatives in the coming years. The City cannot support the electric scooter implementation at this time."
"Given a number of factors, the Council is unprepared to move forward with a scooter pilot at this time. In a city that is still working to establish a safe infrastructure and culture for bicycles, introducing hundreds of new small vehicles like the scooters would only serve to complicate these efforts. Additionally, we do not believe the nearly 18 million visitors who come to New Orleans each year can be properly educated about the specific rules the pilot proposed. So for right now, we are not prepared to move forward," said Councilmember Palmer.
City leaders hope there may be an opportunity to establish a program in the future since there is no current business license allowing dockless scooter companies to operate in New Orleans. However, the recently passed sidewalk obstruction ordinance authorizes Safety and Permits to immediately remove individual small vehicles such as scooters left on the public right of way.