July 2, 2019

Statement from Mayor Bhalla on electric-scooter sharing programs

Below is a statement from Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla on the electric scooter sharing program:

Last week, I asked the Hoboken City Council to consider authorizing a public, non-binding question on the ballot in November to allow the public a voice in whether or not the City should permit an e-scooter sharing program. As mentioned, I believe this is a democratic way for residents to make their voices heard on an issue with a number of positive benefits, but also many passionate opinions. Unfortunately, the City Council voted down this proposal by a 5-2 vote (with Emily Jabbour and Jim Doyle voting yes, and two members absent) at the last Council meeting, denying residents the opportunity to weigh in on such an important matter.

I strongly believe we should be governing by listening to the voices of more residents, not stifling an opportunity to gather input on an issue through a fair and democratic method. Whether the City of Hoboken continues to allow e-scooters is not just a mundane question of governance as we are one of the first municipalities in the region to pilot the program, and the end result could have an impact broadly across the State and region. This is all the more reason why residents should be heard. I respectfully ask the 5 members of the Council who voted against the legislation to reconsider their position and allow residents to weigh in at the ballot box.