GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Electric scooters could be coming back to Greensboro.
Blue Duck removed its supply and stopped operations about three months ago. Now, the city is looking for a vendor to provide bikes, e-bikes and e-scooters starting in November 2023.
For some, electric scooters are a good way to explore the city.
“I think personally that the scooters are a great enrichment program for the City of Greensboro,” said Carly Bowers, who works downtown. “I see it being a really good way to get around downtown.”
For others, they’re an accident waiting to happen.
“More often than not I see drunk college students using them more than people just legitimately trying to get around town,” said Vinny Verburg, who works downtown.
Many people who work in Downtown Greensboro said when the city previously had e-scooters, many misused them and sometimes even broke them, leaving unusable scooters littering sidewalks.
“Ultimately they break and they don’t come back for them, like the company doesn’t really want them anymore so they just end up being trash,” said Verburg.
Some even witnessed riders getting seriously hurt.
“They would go down it felt like 30 an hour down the sidewalk and it’s one thing if it’s an empty sidewalk but on Friday, Saturday nights Greensboro has quite a bit of like a nightlife population,” said Bowers. “You’re running into people and I watched somebody go straight into a tree and they cracked their head.”
A 16-year-old died in May after being hit by a truck while scootering in Charlotte.
Some think Greensboro’s new Hopper Trolley is a safer alternative rolling through downtown free of charge.
“I think that as much as you want to go bar hopping or enjoy the nightlife of the city, that is more of a manageable option than trying to deal with one of those annoying scooters and accidentally getting hit by a car,” said Verburg.
FOX8 reached out to the Greensboro Department of Transportation director, who said when these electric scooters first came to North Carolina they were an untested mode of transportation. Now, city leaders feel they will help improve connectivity and fill a gap in the mobility system.
As for safety concerns, part of the application includes safety requirements, which will help evaluate vendors. Interested companies have to submit an application by Sept. 29.