Yesterday, I took in a matinee at the Orlando City Council meeting, to hear the presentation regarding the city’s plan to allow companies to deploy electronic scooters in the city to (for the most part) replace bike share downtown (story HERE).
The council was wary. This is a surprise considering the region’s desire to try and keep up, if not lead, their municipal brothers here in Florida, and around the country.
In fairness, their concerns were fair. There were worries about the speed of the scooters, insurance for accidents, and how seniors in the region would feel about them. It still passed it’s first reading unanimously.
Good. This is because those scooters really are the next phase of the transportation push in downtown.
While I’m not a big fan of bikeshare, other people seem to like them. In addition to modernizing the process, scooters could alleviate the awful parking situation that has been dragging downtown into the exercise business for years with long walks to venues. They really could make things much more convenient.
I did have one question. Orlando was charging less to allow electric scooter companies to apply to do business here. Less than Miami. Less than Tampa. Why?
Look, I get it. We’re a smaller market, but we’re shortchanging ourselves with lower rates. Especially as Orange County continues its push for a sales tax increase for transportation needs. We have to grab every penny we can get.
Otherwise, it’s not so bad.
After some tweaks, the City Council should approve the measure upon final reading. It will make getting around downtown Orlando just a little more easier.