Electric scooters are scheduled to be back on Winston-Salem streets on Friday when Zagster, in partnership with Spin, will put out 100 Spin scooters for public use, Winston-Salem officials announced.
A second company, VeoRide, has filed an application with the city and plans to begin operations at the end of October.
Northwest Ward Council Member Jeff MacIntosh, who was an avid Bird scooter pilot when Birds were a thing, said he’s looking forward to getting back on board a scooter.
“I’ve got my helmet that I keep in the back of my car, and you will see me out there,” MacIntosh said.
Dockless scooters for rent can only be used between the hours of 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. and only by those 16 and older, under an ordinance the city council adopted in March. Other provisions in the ordinance include:
- Scooters cannot be used on sidewalks, on greenways, in Old Salem or in public parks.
- Scooters are considered vehicles and must obey stop lights, stop signs and all other traffic laws.
- Scooters must yield to pedestrians in the public right-of-way.
- Scooters cannot be left where they will block sidewalks, driveways or curbside parking.
Scooter users are encouraged to wear helmets.
Rental rates are set by the scooter companies and are not subject to city review. Companies are responsible for maintaining their equipment and responding to customer complaints.
In August, the city announced that Zagster and VeoRide had been selected to be the two companies that would be permitted to put scooters out on the street.
The scooters put out Friday will be the first rental scooters legally out on the street since the city instituted a ban last November.
That ban came after the Bird company dropped scores of scooters on the sidewalks of the city in the summer of 2018 with no advance notice.
The scooters became a hit, but also drew complaints that drivers were disrupting pedestrian and auto traffic.
Winston-Salem officials ironed out rules for companies wanting to put out scooters, and five companies applied. Bird was not one of them.
A company called Slidr was approved to put out rental bicycles. The city did not say when those might appear.
MacIntosh said it is good to have other options than cars downtown.
“I’m glad to have them back,” he said. “I think we have some pretty good controls around them. I hope everybody behaves.”
Although days are shorter and the weather is cooler, MacIntosh said there should still be another couple months of riding available.
“We may be hot through January, so there may be an awful lot of time to ride with them this year,” he said.
The city said residents who need customer service for the Spin scooters, once they get out, should call 888-249-9698 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact information for the shared mobility companies that are authorized to operate in Winston-Salem, along with the rules for use, will be posted at CityofWS.org/SharedMobility.