Oakland Has Started its Pilot Program for E-Scooters with Disabled Riders in Mind

The Oakland Department of Transportation (OakDOT) and the e-scooter rental company Lime have started a unique pilot program involving adaptive electric scooter (e-scooter) rentals for riders with disabilities. The program is aimed at riders who are either not comfortable with or unable to stand for long periods of time and have difficulty walking distances that we think nothing of doing. In short, rather than standing with two feet on a floorboard, the modified scooters have seats. Individuals with disabilities can now rent e-scooters to travel to and from work and home or run errands because their transportation options have been increased.

Scheduling an Adaptive E-Scooter

Disabled individuals who wish to try the pilot program can arrange to reserve an adaptive e-scooter when they’re in need of one by using the Lime app. They won’t need to search for an adaptive scooter on the street like other Lime customers. When appropriate arrangements are made, Lime delivers e-scooters to them. The customer also schedules a pickup time, and Lime retrieves the scooter at the location where it was dropped off. Then, it’s charged again, and a maintenance inspection is performed.

What About the Cost?

Renting an adaptive scooter will cost the user $32 for 24 hours. That charge is cut in half for Lime Access users with low incomes. If users needing an adaptive scooter don’t have a credit card, Lime will even take cash when it delivers the e-scooter.

Here’s What Users Get

The standard adaptive Lime scooter is a Tomoloo L1 scooter that comes with a padded seat with springs. Before even getting on the device, users should make sure that the platform connecting the seat to the floorboard is securely fastened. The handlebars are wider than the standard Tomoloo L1, and they are reported to help give better balance than the standard model. The e-scooter’s range is about 11.5 miles, and top speed is said to be at 15 mph unless the rider is traveling downhill. Take notice that the tires are only eight inches in diameter, so high speeds can quickly get dangerous.

Laws Governing Electric Scooter Use in Oakland

As per state law, anybody riding an e-scooter on a public roadway in the State of California must wear a helmet. They must ride in the street and stay to the right. Riders cannot ride on sidewalks. If a posted speed limit is more than 25 mph, riders must use the bike lane. Only one person is permitted to ride on a scooter, and packages are not allowed to be transported. Scooters are allowed to be parked on sidewalks, but they can’t block driveways, building entrances, curb ramps color curbs or fire hydrants.

What comes to issue is whether a disabled individual can handle an e-scooter. In order to avoid accidents, those who want to rent one must be able to show a level of proficiency. Adaptive scooters were an element of the city’s intent when it started to regulate e-scooters in the city. As per a city spokesman, Oakland is the first city in the United States to require e-scooter rental companies to provide adaptive scooters for disabled residents.

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