ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – CDTA hosted an open house Tuesday to showcase SCOOT, new e-scooters that will be available to ride throughout the Tri-Cities.
“Communities are excited too, once word got out that we were exploring the idea of electric scooters, we immediately got flooded with questions and comments of where, and when, and how,” said Lindsey Garney, Mobility Manager for CDTA.
Members of law enforcement and elected officials were invited to learn more about the scooters, as well as getting a chance to take them for a ride.
“I like it, I can see how this could be really popular around here,” Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins said.
“It zips along very nicely. It takes you about 5 seconds to realize if you don’t stand up straight you’re going to be on the ground, so it was good,” said Assemblymember John McDonald.
E-Scooters have become a popular and environmentally friendly way of getting around cities nationwide.
“It’s innovative, it’s fun, but purposeful. Our research shows the average trip length is about a mile, with a purpose. I want to get from here to there to do something,” said CDTA CEO Carm Basile.
But while they’ve taken off in popularity, there have also been safety concerns.
Data from New York City shows that injuries from e-scooter accidents appear to be on the rise so far this year. A study conducted in Austin, Texas in 2018 showed that nearly half of the almost 200 injured in scooter accidents sustained head injuries.
Here in New York State, those over 18 aren’t legally required to wear a helmet when riding these devices.
“But we are heavily encouraging all of our riders to wear helmets for their own safety,” Garney explained.
CDTA says safety is a top priority, and their e-scooters have a mechanism built in to ensure they don’t surpass their top speed of 15 mph when riding downhill.
Chief Hawkins says the scooters feel safe, as he hopes everyone will ride them responsibly, “Obey the rules as if they’re riding a bicycle. Stay on the bike paths, watch out for pedestrians and other motorists,” he said.
E-scooters have to be ridden on the street, as users are asked to follow all traffic laws.
Scoot’s pilot program will run throughout the summer. The scooters will be available at hubs in Albany, Schenectady and Troy and cost 25 cents per minute.