Will e-scooters be seen in Walton County’s cities soon?

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Company or companies allegedly testing the local market

The City of Loganville is attempting to get ahead of the curve on the electric, or e-scooter, trend that has been surging in other larger cities around the country and in Europe over the last year or so. The City Council has the item on the agenda for Monday’s City Council meeting. But this didn’t just come out of the blue, it is in response to some e-scooters being left in the Ingles parking lot in Loganville in what appeared to be a company testing the market.

“But they are no longer there and we will be addressing it this week at the City Council meeting,” Councilman Skip Baliles said at last week’s TRIAD meeting in Loganville. The item is on the agenda for discussion at Monday’s Work Session.

There also appears to be an attempt being made to test the craze in the City of Monroe, with Your Local News receiving anonymous texts bearing the following message from someone calling themselves “Monroe Trendz.”

Attempts to get a response, however, have so far been unsuccessful and Sadie Krawczyk, the economic development specialist for the City of Monroe, has said she is not aware of plans to implement e-scooters in the city. Monroe Mayor John Howard said the subject of these scooters has been discussed for the potential in Monroe. He said he and City Administrator Logan Propes had spoken about the possibility of these scooters and rent-a-bikes coming to Monroe a couple of months ago.

“As these hourly rental programs have littered streets across the country, municipalities and universities have struggled with how to handle them. I would recommend tight parking controls with specified areas marked around town,” Howard said, noting that in some places they have been banned. “We will keep our eyes open and will address this new technology very soon.”

E-scooters, have hit the market in a big way in other big cities around the country, including the City of Atlanta and Los Angeles. A crew from the Monroe, Ga. company Rinse Bath & Body got in on the craze earlier this year while out in Los Angeles setting up the new store in the Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort. They seemed to enjoy the experience.

From left, Heather Swanepoel, Mindy Maynard and Emily Dickinson on e-scooters in Los Angeles while setting up the Downtown Disneyland District store. Contributed photo

So, what are e-scooters?

Companies like Bird, Lime, Spin are the initial innovators of the e-scooter, e-commerce trend, according to an article in Pocket-lint. The article by Maggie Tillman notes that electric scooters are dockless and rent-by-the-minute. They have wireless connectivity, can zoom down sidewalks at speeds of 15mph and are fitted with GPS trackers. The going rate from the four companies Pocket-lint researched was $1 down and 15 cents a minute. They can be picked up and rented by paying through a phone app and then dropped off again for the next person to pick up. The process is similar to how Uber and Lyft offer on-demand taxis. The article by Tillman gives a lot of information on exactly how they work and where they can currently be found.

But these scooters don’t come without controversy. Last week, the third person since May died after a collision with a vehicle while riding an e-scooter in Midtown Atlanta according to the Atlanta publication Curbed. The City of Atlanta also has the item on its agenda for this week’s City Council meeting.

So what do you think? Would you like to see e-scooters in any of the Walton or East Gwinnett cities?

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