Electronic scooters or “e-scooters” are growing in popularity across the country and now the city of Manhattan is going to discuss how much it wants to regulate their use. The Manhattan City Commission is discussing possible e-scooter rules and regulations during their meeting Tuesday night.
This comes after the Kansas Legislature passed a law regulating the devices this session. The law went in to effect on July 1 and now Manhattan city leaders are deciding whether to add on to those regulations.
“A lot of communities put restrictions on the usage of e-scooters such as speed limits, use of helmets, age limits, where they can be ridden like sidewalks and streets,” said Jared Wasinger, assistant to the Manhattan City Manager.
Wasinger says the state law regulates e-scooters similar to bicycles. In Manhattan, bikes are allowed on streets and sidewalks except for in Aggieville and downtown. The commission could decide to mirror these with e-scooters or try something different.
Once regulations are in place public scooters could be a new program coming to the Little Apple. Wasinger says the city has been approached by a number of companies that would like to bring a public use program to the city.
“What the e-scooter companies do is they deploy a small fleet throughout the community,” said Wasinger. ” They hire local residents to manage those fleets and then people can essentially download a mobile app and rent a scooter.”
Before the city can move forward on any deals with these companies, Wasinger says the city commission needs to decide on regulations. The Manhattan City Commission meeting starts at 7 pm on Tuesday night at City Hall. Click here for a look at the meeting agenda.