Fort Wayne City Council passed an amended ordinance that will allow for a pilot program that provides more public transportation downtown, including scooters.
“There have been companies calling us for the last several months saying ‘we want to come to Fort Wayne, we want to expand our service. What steps do we need to take,” City Planner Dan Baisden said.
According to Communtiy Development leaders, several companies have expressed interest in bringing their shared mobility systems to the Summit City.
“Shared mobility allows us to provide an additional form of mobility that connects people to first mile, last mile solutions and that’s really getting people to public transit, and also, the short trips,” Basden added.
City Council approved a plan to lay out ground rules ahead of that happening, including requring the companies to go through a permitting process.
Some council members expressed concern about what could happen in Fort Wayne, based on what has happened with public scooters in Indianapolis.
“If we do nothing, then can roll them out, throw the scooters everywhere,” Republican Councilman Russ Jehl said. “In Indianapolis, they’ve got scooters in trees and laying around.”
Jehl supported an amendment that would allow City Council to terminate the program if the body is not satisfied with how it is affecting the city.
Councilman Glynn Hines was excited about the effect this program will have on festivals downtown this summer.
“I think it’d be a good thing for millennials, especially around the festivals,” Hines said. “You can get around better and people that might have walking disabilities of some sort could use the scooter or the bike to get around even better.”
City council approved the test program under some conditions. If a company wants to operate in Fort Wayne, they have to go through the permitting process. That’s where the city will make a few dollars, as opposed to buying scooters for people to use.
The agreement also gives the city the right to remove the scooters and hold them for 30 days. If they aren’t picked up in that time frame, they can be sold, scrapped or donated.
“There are communities where it works well,” Jehl added. “We want to be one of those communities.”