Another scooter company eyes Prague

The city is negotiating with an as-yet unidentified scooter sharing service

Electric scooters have quickly become another controversy on Prague streets, and the situation is likely to become more intense as another may be allowed to launch scooter sharing in addition to the existing one operated by US-based Lime.

Prague spokesman Vít Hofman said that the city will negotiate to amend the existing memorandum so that other service providers can be included. No further details have been provided.

“We know about another company that would like to run scooters in Prague and would like to join the memorandum. However, we must first verify the company and consult about all the details,” Hofman said.

Electric scooters began to be provided by Lime in Prague at the end of September. The service lets people use a smartphone app to unlock the scooters and then ride them for a fee.

To use a Lime scooter, people pay Kč 25 as an initial fee and then Kč 2 for every minute. The scooters should go a maximum of 25 kph, and the Lime company recharges them when the battery runs low.

The terms of use specify that the scooter users have to obey the rules of the road, such as not driving on sidewalks. They also should not be left where they are blocking intersections or cause a hazard to pedestrians.

However, there are no designated docking stations or racks to park the scooters, so people tend to leave them haphazardly in the middle of the sidewalk. The ban on riding on sidewalks and in parks in areas where motor vehicles, bikes, skates and skateboards are banned also has been widely ignored.

Riders are also supposed to wear helmets, but these are not provided with the scooters.

The Prague 2 district, in particular, has been critical of the way the scooters are used.

Lime was established in the US state of California in January 2017. It is mainly active in the US and is expanding to Europe. Its founders say they want to reduce people’s dependence on passenger cars for short-distance transport. In addition to eighty US cities, their green-and-yellow bikes are in Europe in Zurich, Frankfurt, Berlin, Paris, Madrid and Valencia, and now Prague.

Prague also has several bike sharing and car sharing services, including one for electric cars.

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