August 5, 2019

Hoboken announces new proposed contract with e-scooter companies

The City of Hoboken and the two electric scooter companies, Lime and OjO, have agreed to the terms of a new contract for the remainder of Hoboken’s six-month pilot period. According to the proposed contract, Hoboken will receive a per-ride fee of $0.35 to invest in greater enforcement and education tools, and transportation infrastructure including protected bike lanes.

The amended contract could provide up to $100,000 or more allocated specifically for the education, enforcement and transportation infrastructure upgrades and up to $500,000 for a potential 12-month period, all at no cost to the Hoboken taxpayer. The amended contract, which lasts throughout the duration of the pilot period until November 30, will be up for a vote before the Hoboken City Council on Wednesday, August 7. The initial contract approving the pilot period with Lime and OjO was previously approved by the City Council earlier this year.

Since the launch of the e-scooter pilot period in Hoboken with Lime and OjO, more than 55,000 unique riders have taken over 275,000 rides. In a survey sent out to Hoboken riders last month, 71% of riders use scooters to-and-from transit hubs, and 28% of riders would have driven a car or taken a ride-sharing service for their most recent trip if a scooter was not available. 76% of surveyed riders of Lime e-scooters and 67% of OjO riders identified as Hoboken residents.

“Our pilot electric scooter programs have provided residents with an additional, green transportation option to travel within our City,” said Mayor Ravi Bhalla. “This amended contract will help provide funds dedicated specifically for enforcement to help ensure rules and regulations are being followed, as well as important infrastructure upgrades including protected bike lanes to provide safer roads for all users. I’m hopeful these tools will help improve the e-scooter experience in Hoboken as we evaluate the future of the program.”

"It is great to hear the City of Hoboken is allocating a portion of this additional e-scooter revenue toward protected bike lanes which provide the safe infrastructure that bicyclists and scooter riders need and want,” said Chris Adair, President of Bike Hoboken. “Giving people a safe, dedicated place to ride, minimizes injury and is a proven method to decreasing sidewalk riding."

“Hoboken’s e-scooter program is extremely popular. To meet the high demand, Lime and the City worked together to increase safety and improve infrastructure,” said Phil Jones, Senior Director of East Coast Government Relations and Strategic Partnerships at Lime. “Hoboken has taken the lead in supporting new modes of transportation in the Tri-State area, and continues to explore new ways to improve its transportation network so that residents have affordable, reliable, and convenient options around the Mile Square City.”

“We are very encouraged by the initial OjO ridership data and use cases in the first two months, and will continue to work with the City to ensure the safety of the public,” said Matt Finelli, P3GM’s operations manager. “We support the revised terms of the pilot as it calls for additional fees to finance enforcement and build out infrastructure to support the City's Vision Zero safety goal of eliminating all traffic-related deaths and injuries by 2030. OjO and P3GM understand the need for investments in infrastructure and enforcement to best manage new modes of mobility.”

In addition, Lime has pledged to implement a “Lime Heroes” program, which will contribute funds to the local non-profit, the Hoboken Community Center. Formerly known as Hoboken’s YMCA, the Hoboken Community Center currently provides housing and resources to low-income individuals. E-scooter users will have the option to round up the cost of each ride to the nearest dollar or two dollars, which Lime will contribute directly to the Hoboken Community Center.

“The Hoboken Community Center manages a housing program that provides over 90 low and moderate income men with affordable housing, and we are beginning the rehabilitation of a historic building that will serve all of Hoboken with new recreational and cultural programs,” said Hoboken Community Center President Ken Nilsen. “Support from the Lime Hero program will benefit both these important missions, and the cooperation of Mayor Bhalla and Lime to support this important community resource is greatly appreciated.”

The new scooter agreement with Lime and OjO includes:

• A payment of $0.35 cents per scooter trip to Hoboken to support increased enforcement of city scooter regulations and Vision Zero infrastructure improvements. The e-scooter companies will contribute $0.20 cents per ride, while users will contribute $0.15. (The existing charge to the user of $1.00 to activate a Lime e-scooter and fee of $0.29 per minute, and $1.25 to activate an OjO e-scooter and fee of $0.29 per minute remains unchanged)
• A scooter ID plate requirement
• A shared data system for user violations.

Since the six-month e-scooter pilot with Lime and OjO launched in late May, the City, Hoboken Police Department and e-scooter companies have collaborated to implement extensive measures to prioritize safe scooter riding, rider education, enforcement, including:

• In July, Lime implemented a slow zone along the Hoboken waterfront (limited to 8 miles per hour) to slow scooters down in the pedestrian-heavy area. OjO has banned scooters from the waterfront.
• Lime and OjO have banned more than 125 users for violations including underage riding, tandem riding, sidewalk riding and other road violations.
• Lime and OjO deploy foot patrol teams to collect illegally parked scooters and keep sidewalks clear of clutter.
• Implementation of an identification scan to verify age (users must be at least 18 years of age)
• Presentation of rules and regulations within the e-scooter mobile applications
• Lime, OjO and City staff tracking violations and reporting non-compliant users to the e-scooter companies which can then suspend or terminate accounts
• Specific e-scooter enforcement by the Hoboken Police Department
• Shutdown of the e-scooters between 9 pm and 11 pm based on the day of the week, to reduce the likelihood of intoxicated riding
• Implementation of a new data application for the City to track all e-scooter operations
• New dedicated e-scooter parking zones
• Lime continues to host bi-weekly First Ride classes to familiarize new riders with the city’s rules and regulations as well has how to safely ride in a guided and low-pressure environment. You can learn more about how to ride a Lime scooter here.

This new agreement will supplement and expand these safety and enforcement efforts. Over the two-month pilot period, users of Lime and OjO e-scooters have combined to take:

• 275,000+ trips
• 55,000+ unique riders
• 250,000+ miles traveled
• 8,000+ gallons of gas saved
• 250,000+ lbs of CO2 saved