The emergence of scooters in urban centers has been one of the more surprising transit developments in recent years. Bird, Lime, and other companies have deployed hundreds of easy to access and use scooters in downtowns across America, including Detroit.
But some critics have said that the scooters are only of use to a specific kind of city resident: one who lives or works downtown. That, however, might soon change.
The city of Detroit recently announced new guidelines for scooter companies that requires them to deploy in neighborhoods outside the urban core. The city increased cap on the number of scooters allowed to 400, but 100 of those must be accessible in neighborhoods outside Grand Boulevard.
"Anytime we can bring the downtown experience into Detroit neighborhoods, I think it is a sign of overall growth for Detroit," said Councilman Scott Benson, in a press release. "This initiative is particularly important in a city where 33 percent of residents are without reliable transportation; this mobility option helps people get around neighborhoods with fun and ease."
Bird and Lime released deployment numbers for each district. Every district in the city will have a minimum of 20 scooters between the two companies.
The new guidelines also establish a Community Advisory Board around scooters. According to the city, they will engage residents and work with city agencies, especially the Office of Mobility Innovation, "to ensure mobility options, like scooters, are accessible and inclusive."
Read Model D's article about how Southeast Michigan is working to make mobility options more accessible for all.