It's been 10 weeks since e-scooters returned to Portland for the city's second, year-long pilot program, and the Portland Bureau of Transportation today announced that 655 more scooters are about to hit the streets.
The total number of permitted e-scooters in Portland is now 2,630.
California-based company Bird, which took part in the city's first pilot program but was not initially approved for the second, received a license to operate after re-submitting an application. The company can deploy 525 e-scooters starting today.
Other operators Bolt and Spin have also been approved to expand their fleet sizes after meeting incentives set by PBOT to meet safety, equity and environmental goals. Bolt can add 14 scooters to its fleet of 200, and Spin can add 116 to its fleet of 525.
"PBOT is working to ease congestion and provide environmentally friendly options for people to get around the city," the agency said in a statement. "The yearlong e-scooter pilot program is designed to assess whether e-scooters support these goals."
Due to concerns from community groups like Disability Rights Oregon about the e-scooter complaint processes being deputized to individual companies, PBOT has also decided to re-launch a city-hosted feedback form for people to air grievances.
As well, in response to concerns about lackadaisical rule regulation after last summer's pilot, PBOT has dedicated staff members to issue warnings and fines to e-scooter companies. Between April 26 and July 31, 2019, 240 warnings and fines were doled out, primarily for sidewalk riding and illegal parking.
PBOT reports having received 371 emails from residents regarding "primarily regarding sidewalk riding and improper parking." It noted that e-scooter companies claim to have received 903 reports of parking issues and rider behavior.
Since April 26, people have taken 253,690 scooter rides. There have been 46 e-scooter related emergency room and urgent care visits, according to the Multnomah County Health Department, and 16 scooter collisions have been reported.
Data from the 2019 pilot show that while companies are required to deploy e-scooters to east Portland, the scooters are most frequently utilized in the central city.