BROOKLINE – Scooters ride free in Brookline. But where to?
The city made Massachusetts history Monday, as the first municipality to punish an electrically powered scooter rental program on the streets.
About 200 cars from California-based companies Lime and Bird have been deployed on sidewalks and other public spaces throughout the city, where riders can use smartphone applications to start running a scooter for $ 1[ads1], with surcharges based on the length of trip.
The start of Brookline's pilot program, which runs into the fall, was not entirely promising; At a launch event, a woman who tested the scooter in the town hall fell into the parking lot and was injured. She was taken away in an ambulance in the background of a press conference that marked the occasion.
Nevertheless, officials celebrated the advent of scooters as an important moment for regional transport.
"If we are to make a belly in the reduction of CO2 emissions, we must change the transport behavior of wake-up vehicles," said Heather Hamilton, a member of the city's elected board chairing the scooter test. In some areas that almost bleed into it, riders are not supposed to cross the border.
Boston, like most cities and towns in Massachusetts, waits until the state manages confusion in state law that can make the vehicles illegal. has at all drawn up the concerns when it launched its pilot program.
So what happens if a rider crosses into the forbidden country?
The bird and lime people at hand on Monday's event indicated that it would be small immediate Consequence: Riders can complete their trip to Boston, but riders will not be able to unlock and start a new one in the city.The company crews will monitor the location of scooters using a GPS system and pick Pick up vehicles that cross the border within two hours.
But that did not seem the case Monday morning, at least on the bird model.
A Globe reporter rescued a scooter through Brookline against Boston. Shortly after crossing the border near the Longwood Medical Area, the scooter piped and stopped accelerating. The app said the reporter was reduced because he had entered a restricted area and that he could not park there either. He safely picked up the scooter back across the border to park it.
It may have been a "glitch," said Hannah Smith, a government office with Bird. She said the company intends to ride to continue to Boston, because it would be safer to not slow riders in the middle of a trip just because they cross the border.
"It is bad transport policy to get the scooters to stop when you cross a physical barrier," she said.
Scott Mullen, Lime & # 39; s Northeast Expansion Director, said his company has a similar outlook, but more riders can be suspended if they usually cross into Boston.
It is unclear how Boston will respond to scooters across the border. The city's transport department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Hamilton, the Brookline Officer, said the city had been in contact with Boston before its launch.
Smith and Mullen each seemed optimistic that this could soon be a problem if scooters soon make their debut in Boston. While the city is waiting for the state to continue before allowing a rental program, the city council has recently approved regulations for the companies once that day comes.
Adam Vaccaro can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamtvaccaro .