Electric scooter startups Bird and Skip have landed permits to operate in Portland under a new pilot program that aims to gauge how the controversial form of micro-transportation will fit in the city. And already there’s a bit of drama, or call it skeptical-scooter feelings, scuttling about.
The permits issued by Portland Bureau of Transportation will run until November 20, when the pilot program is set to end. Scooters could be available for rent as soon as this week, PBOT officials said.
The PBOT will conduct an evaluation of the program and survey Portlanders to determine whether scooters are compatible with the safe, efficient and equitable operation of Portland’s transportation system, the department said.
And while the official line from PBOT is neutral, there’s at least one staffer whose snarky tweet suggests that the scooters are something more repugnant: merely another plaything for tech bros.
It all started after PBOT tweeted a PSA about the rules for scooters. In response, one person wrote,” Instead of preemptively shaming and scolding e-scooter users PBOT should be bending over backwards to encourage this alternative. I would like @PBOTinfo staff to reread the climate action plan, motorcycle plan, and comp plan to come to grips with the magnitude of their failure .”