The city's electric scooter fleet has recorded another growth spurt.
The Portland Bureau of Transportation increased the number of permitted dockless e-scooters to 2,887 earlier this month — compared with 2,630 in mid-August. This time, it's the scooter company Lime that is adding 257 more two-wheelers, bringing their total deployment to 782.
Portland's yearlong e-scooter pilot includes goals that are designed to encourage good behavior by offering fleet increases to scooter firms that comply. Other companies qualified for the good partner incentive last month, but Lime's data required extra scrutiny.
"We wanted to make sure that their numbers were accurate," said PBOT spokesman John Brady.
Lime ultimately achieved the utilization benchmark by showing an average of three to four trips per day per scooter parked outside East Portland.
"PBOT is working to ease congestion and provide environmentally friendly options for people to get around the city," officials said. "The yearlong e-scooter pilot program is designed to assess whether e-scooters support these goals."
Not everyone is pleased. Bob Weinstein, a downtown resident who formed an advocacy group to protest scooter scofflaws, questions why PBOT didn't formally announce the latest increase, except on Twitter.
"One might think that PBOT did not want a lot of publicity on this decision," he said. "The day after (the increase) I filed a complaint with Lime and PBOT about nearly being struck and injured by a Lime scooter on the sidewalk on Northwest 23rd."
Proponents argue that shareable scooters are an eco-friendly solution to auto traffic. A recent city study highlights that carbon dioxide emissions linked to transportation are "increasing dramatically" in Multnomah County, perhaps due to cheap gas prices.
Transportation emissions here were about 14% higher in 2017 than they were in 2012.
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