E-SCOOTERS

A startup company by the name of Charge is trying to legalize e-scooters in New York State. If e-scooters are approved to operate in New York, Charge would provide docks for 10,000 scooters throughout New York City. Charge is dealing with a significant obstacles for e-scooters and e-bikes which is blocking of roads and sidewalks. This is a consequence of the dock less models used by scooter focused bird and bike operator Lime. This model allows riders to hop on a scooter or bike when they need it and leave it just about anywhere but scooters have piled up on sidewalks from Boston to Los Angeles and complaints from residents.

According to an article in Crain’s New York Business on April 22, 2019 entitled “Startup puts a charge into e-scooter legalization” by Ryan Defenbaugh and Eric Enquist. Andrew Fox, co-founder & CEO of Charge called the issue of e-scooters strewn about the streets and sidewalks the business model’s weakness. Docking stations could help persuade State lawmakers to support legislation legalizing e-scooters in New York. “This is a problem around the world” Fox said. “Our thought was let’s build a docking and charging station that would pass the litmus test of municipalities and help accelerate the advancement of micro mobility instead of seeing its demise as people get frustrated by scooters thrown around the street”.

Charge plans to launch elective charging docks for e-scooters and electric pedal assist bicycles in close to 400 locations throughout New York City. The company has negotiated deals to lease space in privately owned garages and commercial buildings to host the docks which would recharge and shelter devices from e-scooter and e-bike operators such as Bird, Bolt Lime and Spin. The docks could offer a new stream of share-economy revenue to garage owners who will face a loss of customers when Manhattan congestions pricing takes effect in two years. Charge employees have spent the past few months signing long term deals with partners including LAZ parking, Imperial Parking, Big City Parking and Little Man Parking. The companies rave about how 15 scooters can be stationed in a single parking spot.

We do not know when scooters and bikes might arrive in New York City (other than Citi bikes Stations). Governor Andrew Cuomo had included in his executive budget a provision letting localities allow the devices, but it was scrapped from the final budget approved on April 1, 2019. New York City Council has considered the idea but Mayor Bill de Blasio has insisted it be dealt with at the State level.

Charge CEO Fox is planning to bring its docking station to cities across the country. He has retained Suri Kasirer, the city’s top grossing lobbyist to hone Charge’s messaging and political outreach as well as Sal Cassano, a former FDNY Commissioner in the Bloomberg Administration to work on the safety issues. The CEO pointed out that every element of his docking stations is manufactured in Long Island City where he has an agreement with Boyce Technologies.

E-scooters are on their way here.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a e-scooter or e-bike accident, contact Dominick J. Robustelli & Associates, PLLC at (914) 288-0800 or visit our web page at White PlainsPersonalInjury Lawyer.com or at RobustelliPersonal InjuryNY.com.