Despite the pilot program recently ending, a survey conducted by the city and released today says that nearly 75 percent of Hoboken residents want to see the E-scooters stay in the Mile Square City.
By Corey McDonald/Hudson County View
The end-of-pilot survey, which included approximately 2,100 individuals interviewed by the city’s Department of Transportation and Parking over a months-long span, was released following the end of the city’s six-month pilot program with Lime, the company operating the 250 dockless scooters.
Of those surveyed, 74.5 percent said that wanted to see the E-scooter program continue in some fashion, with improvements to the program.
Additionally, 93 percent of those surveyed were Hoboken residents and 66 percent said they had ridden am E-scooter at least once during the six-month pilot program.
More specifically, 48.5 percent of respondents agreed that the program should continue; 26 percent said the program should continue with improvements; while 25 percent said the scooters should not return.
“The survey paints a broader picture that Hoboken residents thoroughly enjoy accessing a new, convenient way to get around over the past six months, and that the overwhelming majority would like the program to continue,” said Phil Jones, a senior government relations director at Lime.
“This survey and our rider data demonstrated: scooters replaced hundreds of thousands of car trips in Hoboken, making the air cleaner and streets safer; scooters improved connections to transit, speeding up commutes and reducing traffic; scooters boosted local businesses by easing connections and making everything in town more accessible.”
The survey was the start of an ongoing study, commissioned by the city, to review the impacts of the program. An ad-hoc subcommittee of city council members has also been formed to address the scooter program.
The city’s pilot program initially began with two companies – Lime and Ojo – in May, although the city terminated its contract with Ojo in September.
Members of the committee said they were working towards a potential April 1st re-launch of a new pilot program. A new request for proposal is expected to be sent out early next year.
The pilot, which began in May, ended on Wednesday — resulting in a mass exodus of the green scooters that for months were a common site on much of the city’s sidewalks.
The program was controversial, and split opinions from many in the city. Some regarded the scooters as dangerous.
In September, a mother walking her child in a stroller on 8th and Clinton streets were struck by a scooter. They did not sustain serious injuries and the incident seemed to play a role in the city council banning E-scooters on the waterfront and parks.
And on Wednesday, the day Hoboken’s pilot program ended, a 16-year-old boy riding a Lime scooter in Elizabeth was struck and killed by a tow truck driver.
Still, the scooters remained a big hit throughout the summer. Officials with Lime said Hoboken’s program generated the most ridership out of all of their city partnerships in the world.
“As the first city in New Jersey to operate scooters, we are grateful to the City of Hoboken and its residents for welcoming our innovative transportation option, and look forward to continuing to serve the people of Hoboken in the future,” Jones said.
Editor’s note: This story was updated with new information.
Follow Corey McDonald on Twitter @cwmcdonald_