DES MOINES, Iowa — A group of Des Moines organizations are exploring whether or not electronic scooters would be a good fit in the city. The scooters are already found in various cities across the country where they’ve been met some success and some struggles.
“Areas like downtown Des Moines and Drake University neighborhood are areas that come to mind but there is no determination as to where exactly they would go,” said DART spokesperson Amanda Wanke.
DART is one of the groups in one the discussion. And as the city’s transpiration hub, they say safety is one of the factors their most concerned about.
“We know that if we are going to have e-scooters it needs to be a very thoughtful process. There are a lot of things we need to consider. Certainly safety is top of mind as we look at what’s happening across the country,” said Wanke
A recent report by the CDC shows at least eight people have died and thousands have been injured on the scooters.
Safety isn’t the only worry, some cities are dealing with the electronic scooters looking like litter because people can leave them wherever they want. Leaders from the Greater Des Moines Partnership say that’s something they need to look into.
“Certainly there’s a lot of pros and cons to them and one of the things is to make sure they are in the right places at the right time and they’re places that people can use them for that last and first mile of transportation. There’s a right way for us to do it and I think that’s what we’re trying to find out,” said Tim Leach, Vice President for downtown development.
Leaders on the project want people to remember it’s not done deal, and they are still just exploring.
“We have some groups to collaborate to see how is it going to impact everybody…the people, the businesses, so it’s an exploration. The good thing is we’re looking at it and we’re gonna get out ahead of it,” said Leach
A city council work session is tentatively scheduled on the discussion for September 23rd.