E-scooters in Spartanburg: City leaders discussing ‘pilot program’

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Bringing electric scooters to downtown Spartanburg. It’s an idea that is moving closer to becoming a reality. However, some city leaders are showing skepticism.

A sight and sound that could be in Spartanburg’s future, e-scooters.

“I think it would be easier for college students to get around,” said Spartanburg Resident, Harriotte Davis.

“South Carolina has always been a state that’s of interest for us,” said Senior Director of Partnerships with Blue Duck, Megan McNamara.

Megan McNamara works with the company that is hoping to bring their services to town, Blue Duck. She told us they’ve been eying Spartanburg because she said the city has a lot to offer.

“There’s local colleges, I think there is very good infrastructure for pedestrians there,” said McNamara.

However, some of the people that lead this city aren’t entirely on board. An ordinance to allow the scooters in town did pass a first reading in front of city council Monday evening.

“At best, it will bring people downtown whether that’s because of the novelty of someone wanting to ride a scooter or whether that’s a real transportation solution for people who struggle with transportation,” said Spartanburg City Attorney, Bob Coler.

Spartanburg City Attorney, Bob Coler said the biggest concern he has noticed amongst council members, safety.

“The safety of the riders, the safety of pedestrians who are not riders, interaction with cars,” said Coler.

Also, the reputation McNamara said has been left behind from other e-scooter companies.

“Scooter-share launched in a kind of chaotic and disruptive way as a whole and a lot of operators have misbehaved and that creates some anxiety,” McNamara said.

But a decision by council doesn’t necessarily mean the scooters are here to stay. It would start as a pilot program, giving them time to evaluate how things are going.

The second reading on all of this in front of city council won’t be until after the holidays. That’s when city leaders will be ironing out any last concerns or questions.

That pilot program would last six months. When exactly that would kick-off is still to be determined.

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