The Lead

Erie County senator seeks support for e-scooter bill

By: - March 8, 2019 3:27 pm

Lime, a scooter ride share company, is hoping to expand into Pennsylvania by mid-summer, but needs law changes to start offering their wheels to riders. (Capital-Star photo by Stephen Caruso)

After gaining some momentum in the House, a movement to legalize e-scooters in Pennsylvania has spread to the state Senate.

Sen. Daniel Laughlin, R-Erie, plans to introduce legislation that would classify electronic scooters as bicycles under the state’s vehicle code, he announced in a memo Thursday.

A companion bill was introduced in the House last month.

The legislation would clear the way for scooter-sharing companies, such as the San Francisco-based Lime, to set up shop in Pennsylvania.

Lime and other startups have already brought scooters to cities like Portland, Ore. and Austin, Texas, where they share bike lanes and sidewalks with cyclists and pedestrians.

In a memo asking his colleagues to support his bill, Laughlin defined a scooter as “small electric or human powered vehicles with two or three wheels, handlebars and a floorboard that can be stood upon while riding.”

They weigh less than 100 pounds and travel up to 20 miles per hour.

“The scooters provide innovative, flexible, and low-cost transportation to tens of millions of riders across the country,” Laughlin wrote in the memo. “They help relieve traffic congestion, pollution and stress by reducing car trips and increasing access to public transit.”

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Elizabeth Hardison
Elizabeth Hardison

Elizabeth Hardison covered education policy, election administration, criminal justice and legislative news for the Capital-Star from Jan. 2019-April 2021. You can find her on Twitter @ElizHardison.