Gainesville residents may not have to worry about spending up to $1,000 on a scooter.
The City Commission will discuss a proposal to bring scooter rentals to Gainesville at 1 p.m. Thursday, city spokesperson Chip Skinner said.
The city currently has a two-year contract with Zagster, a bike-sharing company, which lets people rent bicycles online or at four docking stations downtown. The bikes have to be returned to the stations, Skinner said.
The dockless system would rent scooters people can leave wherever they drive them, instead of returning them to a station. Someone else could then rent them through an app, Skinner said.
“It’s really about the convenience of users,” he said.
Assistant City Manager Dan Hoffman said the city is looking to implement the program in late fall or spring.
Gainesville’s bike-sharing contract with Zagster, which costs about $32,000 a year, makes the new program limited to scooters until the contract expires in May 2019.
With the dockless system, the city would collect fees from companies instead of losing money, Hoffman said.
Grace Tyler, an 18-year-old UF political science freshman, said the program is a great idea as long as the city can keep track of all the scooters.
“If I could rent a scooter for a day, that would be great, and it could be cheaper than renting an Uber,” Tyler said.
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New scooter parking is being constructed near the Chemistry Lab Building and is supposed to be open for the first day of classes, according to student body president Smith Meyers, to provide additional parking to the Library West scooter area.