Albemarle scooter rental program reviewed

Published 10:25 am Tuesday, September 26, 2023

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At its Sept. 18 meeting, Albemarle City Council received a status report from Alexander Zimmerman of Peel Scooters, who presented data from the one-year pilot scooter rental program agreement with the city.

In addition, Zimmerman requested an extension of the rental program agreement.

“We had a successful first year,” stated Zimmerman, noting that 3,003 total rentals were executed during the year.

“We averaged 10 rides per day at an average of 15 minutes each,” he added.

While most people who used the service were respectful of safety rules and local laws, Zimmerman said that over the course of the year, 24 users had been banned for various violations, the most common of which was underage operators (less than 16 years old).

Councilman Bill Aldridge asked what could be done to prevent underage operation. Zimmerman replied that the problem is difficult to police, since adults sometimes rent a scooter, then allow a youngster to operate it with little or no supervision.

Zimmerman noted that the fleet of scooters used in Albemarle is in the process of being upgraded.

“We now have newer and sturdier scooters, with improved technology,” he said.

According to Zimmerman, scooters can be rented by an operator agreement, which can be accessed through a smart phone app. Through the app, ride times and fees can be regulated and scooter locations can be tracked by the local program manager.

In addition to Albemarle, Zimmerman noted that Peel Scooters are in use in Myrtle Beach and Conway, South Carolina.

“We also are working on an agreement to bring them to Boone in the spring,” he said.

On a motion by Councilman Chris Bramlett and a second by Councilman Dexter Townsend, the board voted unanimously to renew Peel’s agreement for one year.