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Sunday, March 3, 2024

Do you think Ocala should offer electric scooter, bicycle rentals downtown?

Do you think Ocala should offer electric scooter and bicycle rentals in the downtown area?

Over the past decade, cities across the country have opened their streets to a wave of companies offering electric vehicle rental services. These services allow riders to pick up an electric scooter or bicycle from any point around a city, ride it, and drop it off at or near their location (or the closest intersection).

The services make use of mobile phone apps that allow the companies to track, charge, and collect the vehicles around the city. The app helps to prevent riders from leaving a scooter in a prohibited place, like the middle of a busy street, or from riding it while not paid/registered.

Lime, Wheels, and Spin are just a few of the businesses offering these services across the country. According to Lime’s website, the company currently operates in 27 states around the U.S., including Miami, Orlando and Tampa in Florida. In addition to cities, Spin operates at universities across multiple states.

Lime scooters in downtown Orlando
Lime scooters are available all throughout downtown Orlando

For those interested in having one of these companies plant roots in Ocala, the majority of them actually encourage and solicit feedback from residents as to where demand is greatest. Visit the Lime, Wheels, or Spin websites to submit your request to ask to add Ocala to the list of future scooter locations.

The vehicles themselves might help improve parking and traffic flow in downtown, goals the city has made clear it values. Last year, Ocala implemented a golf cart ordinance approved in December 2019 that permits golf carts on certain streets that were previously prohibited.

Do you think Ocala should offer electric scooters or bicycle rentals downtown? Share your thoughts with us in a letter to the editor.