Electric scooters will return to the streets of Cleveland as soon as this weekend, the city announced last night.
Rides from Lime, Bird, Spin, VeoRide and Wheels had been pulled earlier this year because of the pandemic and, in the interim, Cleveland city council re-evaluated regulations after the end of a one-year trial period.
After vocal feedback, hours have been extended to 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. from the original, and restrictive, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. window, and max speeds are now capped at 15 mph instead of 12 mph.
"During the initial demonstration period, Cleveland riders logged 2.5 million minutes over 213,000 rides on shared mobility devices," the city said. "The City has also adopted new COVID-19 protocols for shared mobility companies and riders to follow. Companies are required to follow applicable federal, state and local health guidelines, and will sanitize the devices any time employees interact with them, including for recharging, rebalancing and maintenance. Riders are encouraged to wash their hands before and after riding, and to wipe down high touch surfaces like the handlebars before riding."
Cleveland will also see the debut of a new bike-share program in the coming days.
After the sad tailspin that precipitated the unceremonious death of the UH Bikes program last year, which included bike graveyards, ever-declining service and finally UH's decision to withdraw from sponsoring the program, things can only get better with the arrival of HOPR.
A few things will be different this time around. Notably, the bikes are unlocked, locked and paid for by scanning a QR code with your phone, much in the same fashion as renting scooters, via the HOPR app.
Another difference, the bikes themselves, a snazzy and "sharply dressed black and teal" color combo, according to the company, feature "airless tires, auto-running front and rear lights, and multiple internal gears."
Riders can expect the bikes — hundreds of them — to be placed at former UH Bike locations, where they'll be rebalanced and redistributed after use. And the bikes are dock optional, meaning you don't have to find a HOPR dock to stop your ride.
Rates for that ride, since you're probably wondering, are pretty standard. $1 to unlock the bike and $0.15 per minute after that, or $15 for a full day pass, or $30 for a 30-day pass with 60 minutes of usage a day before a $0.15 per minute charge.
SNAP recipients can score a 30-day pass with 60 minutes of usage over the month and only $0.10 per minute after that for just $5. If you used UH Bikes before and have credits on your account, HOPR will allow you to transfer them in full.