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Boise, Idaho, Prepares for New 3-Wheeled E-Scooters

Spin says the debut of its S-200 model in Boise will mark the first three-wheel electric scooter in the United States, and eventually, customers will be able to use a phone app to order a scooter to their location.

(TNS) — In San Francisco, scooter operators can be fined $100 every time a scooter is parked in the street, against a building or on its side in the middle of the sidewalk. Scooter providers Lime, Spin, Scoot and Bay Wheels have two hours to get scooters repositioned properly or face a ticket.

Spin is looking to solve that problem through a pilot program scheduled to begin this spring in Boise. The company, owned by Ford, plans to bring a fleet of 300 three-wheeled scooters that can be operated by remote-control to ensure they're parked properly.

The scooters also may give people who aren't comfortable riding a two-wheel scooter confidence to try a more stable scooter.

Spin says the debut of its S-200 model in Boise will mark the first three-wheel electric scooter in the United States.

Eventually, customers will be able to use a phone app to order a scooter and have it come to where they are.

"Nationally recognized as an emerging tech hub and conveniently connected by a robust network of bike lanes, Boise is the perfect city partner for our S-200 pilot," Spin said in a blog post.

Seth Ogilvie , spokesperson for Boise Mayor  Lauren McLean , said by email. "We're excited that companies view Boise as a place where they can innovate."

GPS technology, combined with cameras mounted on the front and back of the company's S-200 scooters, will allow remote operators to guide the scooters to a proper spot at the edge of the sidewalk. While Boise allows scooters to operate at up to 15 mph, the remote function will limit scooters being moved to 3 mph or slower.

Scooters could also be deployed to other blocks, to spread them out. Spin says riders often finish their rides within a block or two of one another, leading to congestion. They could also be moved from areas of low ridership to busier spots.

The scooters are manufactured by Segway-Ninebot, which invented the two-wheel personal transporter in 2001. Chinese startup Ninebot bought Segway in 2015. Another startup, Tortoise, provides the software.

The new scooters feature front and rear brakes, a suspension system and turn signals.

"Riders less comfortable with a traditional two-wheeled scooter will find our new Spin S-200 to be a more stable and safe experience,"  Maxime Veron , a Spin vice president, said in a TV ad for the scooter that will debut in Boise.

Scooters running out of battery power can be directed to a charging hub.

Spin is working out the final arrangements with the city on its pilot program, company spokesperson  Sara Dodrill  and Ogilvie said. The start date and the length of the trial period have not been announced.

"We'll use what we learn from the Boise program to inform our plans in other cities, which we will roll out over the course of this year," Dodrill said by email.

The city is asking Spin to conduct the trial in phases, with the company outlining when and where scooters can be repositioned and the number of scooters deployed in each phase, Ogilvie said.

"Spin's Boise staff will monitor the vehicles' performance and safety alongside our code compliance and safety team," he said.

Before progressing to the next step, Spin's staff and the city team will meet to address any concerns or problems, he said. Spin will be required to follow the same safety requirements and data reporting as it does with its regular fleet.

Spin operates in 44 cities and counties in the United States, along with Germany and a city north of London.

In San Francisco, Spin has been fined $84,300 for scooters parked improperly since October 2019, according to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which issues tickets. Fines have totaled $170,700 for Lime, $138,900 for Scout and $215,600 for Bay Wheels.

Spin is one of three scooter companies that operates in Boise. Lime and Bird began placing scooters on the streets in October 2018. Spin arrived in April 2019.

In 2019, Boise e-scooter riders recorded 608,032 miles. A report for 2020 wasn't available Monday afternoon.

(c)2021 The Idaho Statesman (Boise, Idaho). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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