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E-scooter bill would clear way for more Pennsylvania cities to join Pittsburgh – TribLIVE

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Pittsburgh last year became the first city in Pennsylvania to legalize low-speed electric scooters and, as part of a two-year pilot, Spin e-scooters became available to rent for use on city streets.
Now, a bill moving through the state Senate would allow select Pennsylvania cities, including Greensburg and New Kensington, to legalize and regulate e-scooters through similar pilot programs.
Senate Bill 892 would allow select Pennsylvania cities to designate where e-scooters could be used. Currently, e-scooters are illegal in Pennsylvania and not classified in the state’s motor vehicle code. In Pittsburgh, only Spin e-scooters are allowed, thanks to the pilot program written into last year’s budget.
“Low-speed scooters are part of the next generation of transportation,” said state Sen. Daniel Laughlin, R-Erie, the prime sponsor of the bill.
“The scooters provide innovative, flexible and low-cost transportation to tens of millions of riders across the country. They help relieve traffic congestion, pollution and stress by reducing car trips and increasing access to public transit,” Laughlin added.
E-scooters would be rolled out in pilots that would include commercial enterprises to rent out the scooters. Each scooter must weigh less than 100 pounds with a floorboard for standing, travel less than 15 mph and only be rented to people 16 and older.
Scooter riders would be granted the rights of cyclists and would be prohibited from riding on freeways, highways or streets where the posted speed limit is 35 mph or higher. The pilots would last two years and require city governments to pass local legislation to implement them.
If passed, the cities eligible to approve e-scooter pilots would include Scranton, the state’s only designated Second Class A city, and cities such as Erie, Harrisburg, Allentown, Reading and Johnstown.


Taking a spin on an e-scooter

Several select cities in Southwestern Pennsylvania would be eligible, including Aliquippa, Arnold, Beaver Falls, Butler, Clairton, Duquesne, Greensburg, Jeannette, Latrobe, Lower Burrell, McKeesport, Monessen, Monongahela, New Castle, New Kensington, Uniontown and Washington. Philadelphia, the state’s only first-class city, was not included in the bill.
The bill passed out of the Senate Transportation Committee on a 12-2 vote. It now heads to consideration in the full Senate.

Ryan Deto is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Ryan by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .
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