Des Moines — Officials in Iowa’s largest city are conducting a survey as part of a larger study to gauge resident’s interest in adding e-scooter, ride sharing technology to Des Moines.
Residents can take a survey at https://dmampo.org/e-scooter-study/ to weigh in on the idea.
Short for electronic scooter, these stand up scooters are designed to take riders short distances for a small fee before being left at the rider’s destination to be used by someone else later.
With an approximate max speed of 15-miles-per-hour, privately owned e-scooters are already being used in Des Moines, while several scooter-sharing companies have expressed interest in bringing their scooters to the metro.
“We want to know what you, the citizens, think,” said Todd Ashby, CEO and Executive Director of the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization. “The technology is here, so how do we want to respond? Do we want an e-scooter share program? What’s the best fit for our city and region? How do we address safety? What regulations are needed?”
City officials like Ashby are hoping to make transportation around Des Moines easier while also making the city more competitive in workforce attraction and economic development.
By taking into account the experiences of other cities with e-scooter programs, local police and fire departments, as well as the general public, the study will take very seriously the potential safety and convenience issues an e-scooter sharing program could cause.
The study group will make recommendations to the Des Moines City Council in early 2020.
If there is support, a pilot program for an e-scooter sharing program could be launched in the summer of 2020.