There are some differences in the ordinance for electric scooters when they are privately owned, but I am not finding much information on the differences. Aside from this: https://www.wichita.gov/Scooters/Pages/default.aspx
No, the regulations do not apply to scooters owned by individuals. They only apply to scooters provided as part of sharing programs.
I have e-mailed the city for additional clarification.
This is one of several posts about electric scooters.
A while back, the City of Wichita authorized bicycle rentals – https://bikeshareict.com/, https://www.visitwichita.com/visitor-info/transportation/bike-share-wichita/. It wasn’t too long after that, electric scooters – https://www.visitwichita.com/visitor-info/transportation/electric-scooters/ joined the rental market. Last I checked there are two (2) scooter rental companies with over 1,000 scooters that operate in Wichita. From the Visit Wichita link:
How It Works
Download the app for the scooter you’d like to ride (the two companies currently operating are Spin powered by Zagster and VeoRide). Then, scan the QR on the scooter to unlock it, then you’re ready to take off. It costs about $10 for an hour ($1 to unlock the scooter and $0.15 per minute).
- Users must be at least 18 years old
- Only one person per scooter
- Scooters may only ride two abreast
- Do not park scooters in front of doors or anywhere inhibiting walkways
- Helmets are encouraged
- Ride as close to the right as possible, preferably in the bike lane
- Scooters must only be operated until 9 p.m. or dusk
*The above rules don’t go far enough as there are some very important rules not mentioned.
Laws and Regulations
On June 18, 2019, the Wichita City Council approved Ordinance 51-049, allowing the operation of electric assisted scooters as part of a sharing system in Wichita and establishing regulations for their operation/use. The regulations do not apply to scooters owned by individuals.
**Relevant portion of the ordinance, from the Scooter link above:
City laws and regulations related to scooter operations can be found in the City’s Municipal Code. Please note: the regulations do not apply to scooters owned by individuals.
- Cannot operate on the sidewalk
- Can operate on bike paths and roadways posted 35 mph or less
- Can only operate until 9 p.m. or dusk
- No helmet, insurance, driver’s license or registration required
- Cannot ride more than two abreast
- Need to ride as close to the right as possible.
- No more than one person on the scooter at a time and cannot cling to a vehicle
- Parked scooters cannot block transit zones, loading zones, curb ramps, disabled parking zones, parking spaces, and entrances to driveways
- Riders must be 18 years of age or older
There are a lot more items about scooters in the ordinance. I didn’t copy/paste, but leaving the scooters on sidewalks that impede pedestrian traffic is not allowed, but it happens all the time.
You will get hit with a fine if you violate the ordinance:
As of July 2019, the fines have been set at $91.50 per citation, which is similar to bicycle citations.
+ court costs fine if you are caught riding them on the sidewalk. It’s pretty common to see scooters ridden on sidewalks from local stories and my personal experience while riding my bicycle. The age minimum is 18, but I regularly see riders who are nowhere near 18 years old.
I saw an article about Los Angeles scooters where the number of tickets written is skyrocketing: https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2019-08-22/electric-scooters-sidewalk-helmet-los-angeles-bird-lyft-lime-jump-tickets-lapd.
I will be doing a separate article about the history of motorized scooters I found in doing research for this post. They have been around for a long time, over 100 years.