NYC DOT Announces Queens Expansion of E-Scooter Sharing Program

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New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez today announced the city's popular Bronx e-scooter share program will move beyond its pilot phase and that service will expand to eastern Queens in 2024 to improve residents' mobility and transit connections. Since the launch of the pilot in the East Bronx in August 2021, New Yorkers have recorded over two million trips among 115,470 unique user accounts. DOT will work with e-scooter share operators to continue strong safety and accessibility requirements and promote compliance with e-scooter share parking rules across the program area. All three operators currently providing service in the Bronx — Bird, Lime, and Veo — will participate in the expansion to eastern Queens.

"E-scooters and other forms of micromobility will help us build a cleaner and greener transportation system that connects residents to commercial and transit hubs," said NYC DOT Commissioner Rodriguez. "I am thrilled that our e-scooter sharing program is here to stay and that it will expand to eastern Queens. Our pilot program met and exceeded our ambitious goals—and it's time we make it available in more neighborhoods."

As part of the administration's commitment to equity, the Queens program area will primarily include Tier 1 and Tier 2 priority investment areas over roughly 20 square miles, from Flushing and Auburndale to the north down to Rochdale Village and Springfield Gardens to the south. The program expansion will provide critical connections to major transportation and commercial hubs for roughly 600,000 residents. Exact program boundaries are still being determined based on community feedback.

Last November, NYC DOT released an evaluation report highlighting the successes of the 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, easing dependence on motor vehicles by offering an environmentally friendly mobility option. The service was also found to provide an important connection to transit, providing what is called a "last-mile" connection to subway stations, bus, and ferry stops.

The robust safety requirements in NYC DOT's pilot builds on lessons learned through the agency's experience with Vision Zero and other cities' experiences with shared e-scooters. Safety is baked into contractual and operational requirements. NYC DOT requires in-app safety training and quiz and age verification for new riders. There is also a "Beginner Mode," during which each rider's first three trips are speed-limited at 10 mph and cannot start in overnight hours. Thanks to these requirements, DOT has recorded few serious injuries and no fatalities through the program so far. In the first 12 months of the pilot, there was fewer than one crash reported per 8,000 trips.

Affordability & Accessibility
New Yorkers who receive or qualify for any local, state, or federal assistance program (e.g. SNAP, NYCHA, discounted utility bill) are eligible for discounted e-scooter share rates. Materials promoting discounted pricing are available in multiple languages. As part of the pilot, all companies must provide wheelchair-accessible scooters.As of June 1, 2023, over 1,200 riders have collectively nearly 140,000 rides through discounted pricing services, averaging over 100 rides per account. DOT will work with the companies to push enrollment in these discount programs higher during the second phase.

"I celebrate the extension of DOT's e-scooter sharing program to transit desert neighborhoods like communities I represent in Southeast Queens that have been long underserved by public transit," said NYC Council Majority Whip Selvena N. Brooks-Powers, Chair of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. "This program will provide a clean, efficient, and affordable micro-mobility option to community members in need. I look forward to working with DOT to ensure the program is rolled out equitably."