SPOKANE, Wash. — The city of Spokane is expecting to launch its "Shared Mobility program" the week of May 13 for national bike to work week.
The program was previously referred to as the "bikeshare program." But since the city will be offering bikes and scooters, it wanted the name to reflect that.
But before it comes back this spring, the city of Spokane needs to choose a vendor, and update city code.
LimeBike was the vendor chosen for the city's bikeshare pilot program.
But now, vendors will have to submit applications and compete for the spot.
So far, the city has heard interest from several companies including LimeBike, Bird, Koloni, Drop-bike, Uber, Zagster, and Razor.
"One aspect of that we're trying to keep open is if we get a vendor who only does scooters, we may select a second vendor so we can have bikes as well," senior engineer Brandon Blankenagel said.
The city also has to update its helmet safety and motorized transportation devices laws.
Instead of requiring vendors to provide helmets to riders, the city may only require them to at least promote the use of helmets.
That doesn't mean riders are off the hook, though. All ages are still required to wear a helmet.
The city will also have to update its code to actually allow electric scooters on downtown Spokane streets. But it's going to restrict them from sidewalks within the boundaries of Spokane Falls Boulevard to the railroad viaduct, and from Monroe to Division.
"There's just so much pedestrian traffic on the sidewalks downtown that within the boundary, we are promoting the use of scooters only on the streets," Blankenagel said.
The last change would be allowing scooters to travel no more than 30 miles per hour on downtown streets, instead of 25 miles per hour.
The city is also looking into helmet rental stations to set up at popular downtown locations, such as hotels, for riders to use.
To be clear, the city council still needs to approve these changes before the program launch.