Ithaca’s E-Scooter Pilot Program Moves To Full Common Council

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ITHACA, NY (WSKG) –Ithaca may soon offer e-scooters.

The Planning and Economic Development Committee of the Common Council voted 4-1 Wednesday night to forward the pilot program to the full Council for consideration.

In this Dec. 6, 2018, photo a Lime scooter customer uses his mobile app to lock up his scooter on the sidewalk after finishing his trip in downtown Washington. Companies are jockeying for strategic position in the so-called micromobility revolution, where consumers are embracing ride-hailing services, scooters, bikes and shared cars that can be hailed and paid for by smartphones. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

During a lengthy and sometimes contentious public hearing, about 20 people spoke for and against e-scooters

Almost everyone who spoke raised safety as a major concern. A recent CDC study found that head trauma was the top injury suffered by e-scooter riders and that wearing a helmet would reduce that risk.

However, a representative from Lime, which is the private company that would run the pilot program, acknowledges that there’s no way to make riders wear helmets.

Some members also want to hear from the Ithaca Police Department, which did not contribute to the lengthy study into e-scooters.

Currently, in New York law prohibits motorized scooters and bikes  like those in the pilot program.