The e-scooter contagion is spreading. City officials in Bend, Ore., are considering launching an e-scooter pilot program that is modeled after the one Portland rolled out last summer.
Last week, Central Oregon television station KTVZ reports, Bend city councilors floated the idea of a four-month pilot contract with three e-scooter companies.
Bend city manager Eric King tells KTVZ the city's e-scooter program would be modeled after Portland's, and that it would likely start in early-June. King also noted that he hopes Bend can learn from Portland's e-scooter trial findings.
King's assistant manager John Skidmore tells WW, "After diving into it for the past two weeks, and from watching Portland, [I've learned there] needs to be a very thoughtful and intentional build-up to launch and we haven't had that."
Skidmore says with "due diligence," he expects a pilot could more realistically be a success in Bend in 2020. Bend City Council is scheduled to meet for a work session Wednesday to discuss e-scooter viability.
At a stakeholder meeting last week, community organizations voiced both support and concern.
"If a large percentage of the available scooters have all been ditched at a certain activity center," one person reportedly said during a council meeting, "how much utility are they actually providing to the rest of the traveling public?"
But representatives of the Oregon State University-Cascades extension campus in Bend said the devices would be a welcome additional form of transit for students.
Portland Bureau of Transportation officials announced Monday that it could bring scooters back to Portland as soon as April 26, with a new set of rules and potential for a much higher amount of scooters on city streets.