NYC DOT Announces Arrival and Activation Today of E-Scooter Share in Eastern Queens

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Successful, Equitable, and Environmentally-Friendly Transportation Option Launches Today in Parts of the Borough Known As 'Transit Deserts'

As the Program Rolls Out, Participating Companies Will Be Conducting Daily On-Street Outreach for the First Three Weeks of the Program

NEW YORK – New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez today announced the arrival of e-scooter share in Eastern Queens. The program, first announced last June, covers four community boards (7,8,11, and 12) and approximately 20 square miles, from Flushing and Auburndale in the north, to Rochdale Village and Springfield Gardens in the south. The expansion builds on the success of e-scooter sharing in the East Bronx, where commuters have already recorded 4.1 million trips among more than 163,000 unique user accounts since service launched in August 2021. The program expansion into Queens provides critical connections to major transportation and commercial hubs for roughly 600,000 residents.

"E-scooter share has arrived in Eastern Queens and we are very excited to build upon the successful East Bronx pilot," said NYC DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. "This expansion delivers a popular, safe, and environmentally sustainable mode of transportation to underserved neighborhoods in Queens."

As part of the initial launch, NYC DOT opened an online feedback portal last year and conducted on-street surveying in the proposed service zone. The Queens expansion includes all three companies currently operating in the Bronx: Bird, Lime, and Veo. These companies will conduct daily on-street outreach in the expansion communities for the first three weeks of the program, beginning today.

The Queens expansion covers several Tier 1 and Tier 2 Priority Investment Areas, which are defined in the NYC Streets Plan as city areas with higher percentages of non-white and low-income populations; higher job and population density; and lower levels of past NYC DOT investment.

Installation and activation of the docking portals for the e-scooters will begin today, beginning in the southern portions of the expansion area and moving northward. The expansion area is expected to be fully activated by next month. A map of the full-service area is below:

A map of the e-scooter service area in Eastern Queens

Starting this past fall, NYC DOT conducted on-street engagement in the borough in addition to planning briefings with elected officials, community boards, business improvement districts, colleges, hospitals, and partner agencies. This outreach focused on educating residents on the program's possibilities and soliciting feedback on placement of parking corrals, which create identifiable locations and organize parking away from the public right of way. This year's outreach consisted of presenting corral locations, selected with public input from 2023.

The additional outreach accompanying this year's launch in Queens included raising awareness of the service and highlighting discount pricing options. New Yorkers who receive or qualify for local, state, or federal assistance programs (e.g. SNAP, NYCHA, discounted utility bill) are eligible for discounted e-scooter rates. Over 2,000 users took more than 275,000 rides between August 2021 and December 2023 were taken in the Bronx using discounted pricing offerings.

Another provision from the successful Bronx pilot to be carried over to Queens is that all companies must provide wheelchair-accessible scooters available for rental to residents with ambulatory disabilities.

In November 2022, NYC DOT released an evaluation report highlighting the successes of the Bronx pilot and examining uses after more than 1.4 million rides. The report found the e-scooter share pilot provided functional and accessible mobility options to historically underserved communities and offered an environmentally friendly mobility option, reducing dependence on motor vehicle usage. The service was also determined to provide 'last-mile' connection to subway stations, bus, and ferry stops. The average trip distance in the Bronx was one mile.

Safety remains central to contractual and operational requirements for the e-scooter program and NYC DOT requires an in-app safety training, quiz, and age verification for new riders. A 'Beginner Mode' also limits a new rider's first three trips to be speed-limited at 10 mph and cannot be started during overnight hours. Thanks to these requirements, DOT has recorded few serious injuries and no fatalities through the program so far. Since the program launched, there have been fewer than one crash reported per 10,000 trips.

"Launching in Eastern Queens is an important milestone in providing convenient, environmentally friendly, and reliable transportation options to NYC residents and visitors," said Bird Chief Executive Officer Stewart Lyons. "We had an incredibly successful pilot in the Bronx and are excited to build on this success with a community-centric operation in Eastern Queens on June 27. We're enhancing connectivity in NYC by serving as a complement to mass transit, helping the boroughs we serve by offering a green alternative for daily commutes."

"Lime is thrilled to officially be in Queens and looks forward to providing a safe, sustainable, and affordable way to get around the World's Borough," said Lime Senior Manager for Government Relations Nicole Yearwood. "The success of the Bronx program, with ridership booming and a strong safety record, has shown the potential for shared e-scooters to connect New Yorkers to public transit, to work, to school, and to the city itself. All of us at Lime believe we can play a major role in forging new transportation connections in Queens, especially making it easier for people to travel north and south and to connect people to MTA subways, buses, and the LIRR. We understand that the success of this program will be built on a foundation of safe riding and proper parking, which is why we've been working for months to listen to the community, hear their ideas, and build operational plans that ensure a smooth transition for all. We are so excited to be in Queens and we can't wait to build on the success we've seen in the Bronx in a second New York City borough."

"As we expand to Eastern Queens, Veo is dedicated to meeting the unique needs of communities from Flushing to Jamaica," said Veo Head of Policy and Partnerships Alex Keating. "Our local team is on the ground engaging with residents and visitors, enrolling riders in our Veo Access discount program, and deploying vehicles where the community needs them most. Together, we can expand access to a new transportation option that will connect residents to work, education, transit, shopping, and more."

"We're thrilled that the e-scooter share program will create an additional means of travel for workers, residents and visitors to get to and from Downtown Jamaica. As a critical economic and cultural hub, our commercial corridor can only thrive when patrons have easy access to be able to shop, linger, and return," said Whitney Barrat, president of the Downtown Jamaica Partnership Business Improvement District. "While we're fortunate to have one of the largest transportation hubs in North America in our district, the area surrounding the Airtrain is lacking in proximate subway connections, and people tend to rely heavily on their cars. The e-scooter program will provide a much-needed alternative transportation option, and we're thankful that Mayor Adams and NYC DOT have recognized and are responding to that need."