E-Scooters in Eugene
Electric scooters (e-scooters) are a relatively new addition to Eugene's transportation landscape. They provide a more cost-effective, environmentally forgiving transportation option to traditional car use. Using an e-scooter to complete daily trips, such as to places of work or education, is a great way to help the City meet its goals for reducing community fossil use and greenhouse emissions. They also help to connect people to services and opportunities by removing certain barriers to transportation, such as the need for a drivers license, registration, and insurance.
Why E-Scooters / Benefits of E-Scooters
- Cheaper Than A Car: No need to pay for parking, registration, insurance, or gasoline. Cost of maintenance and repairs is substantially lower for an e-scooter than a car.
- Health Benefits: E-Scooters help to improve balance and posture while strengthening core and leg muscles.
- Low Emissions: E-Scooters emit much less CO2 than gasoline or diesel powered cars. When manufacturing and disposal emissions are accounted for in addition to standard use, e-scooters emit approximately half as much C02 as gasoline or diesel powered cars.
- Low Barriers: No insurance, license, or registration is required. Reduces physical exertion, making it easier to go further faster. Due to their light weight, compact size, and ability to collapse, e-scooters are convenient to to park and take on public transportation.
- Greater Accessibility: Great for short trips, e-scooters provide a convenient alternative for trips that are a bit too far to walk. Additionally, they compliment getting to and from public transit stations.
Oregon State E-Scooter Laws
- Speed Limit: E-Scooters may not exceed 15 MPH.
- Minimum Age: Age minimum for e-scooter riders is 16* years old. *Note: Many shared scooter services require riders be at least 18 years old.
- Helmet Requirement: Helmets are required for all e-scooter riders, regardless of age.
- License and Registration: Riding an e-scooter does not require a license, insurance, or registration.
- Where Allowed: E-Scooters may not be ridden on roadways with a posted speed limit greater than 25MPH unless there is a bike lane present. E-scooters may be ridden in bike lanes and bike paths (and are required to do so when one is present). They are not allowed on sidewalks.
Eugene City Code
- Where Allowed: Oregon State Law applies, with the additional restriction that e-scooters are not allowed to operate within the East Alton Baker Park boundaries.
Shared E-Scooter Pilot Program
What Is Happening?
In 2019, the City of Eugene began work to plan for and establish a shared e-scooter pilot program. The program is planned to launch Spring 2022.
Program creation included:
- Updating city code to include a definition for "micromobility devices" and to allow the use of micromobility devices on shared-use paths
- Establishing criteria based on best practice research and community input to determine top candidate e-scooter companies (Safety, Sustainability, and Equity)
- Releasing a Request For Information for e-scooter services from interested e-scooter companies
- Drafting and adopting an Administrative Rule that regulates where and how e-scooter companies may operate their devices
Why Is It Happening?
The City of Eugene has multiple policies in place that support the creation of a shared e-scooter program. Eugene’s Climate Recovery Ordinance states that by 2030 community fossil fuel use should fall to 50% of 2010 levels. Additionally, both the city’s 20-year long range land use (Envision Eugene) and transportation plans (Eugene 2035 Transportation System Plan) state that the number of trips made by transit, bicycling, or walking should be tripled.
It should be noted that when these plans were created, e-scooters did not yet exist. The intention of increasing the number of transit, bicycling, and walking trips, however, is to reduce the number of trips made by gasoline (fossil fuel) consuming, single-occupancy vehicles. E-scooters present an additional opportunity for the city to provide a method of moving people in a fun and accessible way that does not require the use of personal vehicles. In short, e-scooters could help reduce vehicle use, which in turn would reduce fossil fuel use, which in turn would help to achieve the Climate Recovery Ordinance goals.
To learn more, visit the E-Scooter Pilot Program page on Engage Eugene.
Resources and Related Documents
- Oregon E-Scooter Rights: A Legal Guide for Electric Scooter Riders. The fifth in a series of Oregon law guides written by Thomas, Coon, Newton, and Frost.
- Oregon Moped, Motorized Scooter, Pocket Bike Guide. A simplified guide from the Oregon Department of Transportation sharing which rules of the road apply to various types of electrified and motorized transportation options.
E-Scooter Administrative Orders, Ordinances, and Summary Reports
- Administrative Order 58-22-02-F. Establishing Shared Micromobility Service License Administrative Rule R-3.570.
- Administrative Order 58-22-03-F. Setting Shared Micromobility Service License Fees.
- Administrative Order 58-22-02. Regarding the Opportunity to Comment on a Proposal to Establish Shared Micromobility Service License Administrative Rule R-3.570.
- Administrative Order 58-22-03. Regarding the Opportunity to Comment on a Proposal to Establish Shared Micromobility Service License Fees.
- Council Ordinance No. 20634. An Ordinance Concerning Shared Micromobility Devices and Authorizing a Pilot Program
- Council Ordinance No. 20635. An Ordinance Concerning the Use of Micromobility Devices
- Evaluation Criteria Public Outreach Summary Report: December 2019. A summary of public outreach conducted and feedback received to help guide and inform the selection criteria used to screen potential shared e-scooter companies.