City limits e-scooter access ahead of Gasparilla

Gasparilla

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – As pirates begin invading Tampa Bay, the City of Tampa is taking all the security measures they can of which includes limiting e-scooter access during Gasparilla.

Gasparilla is in its 105th year, but this is the first year pirates could consider riding scooters to the invasion. However, the City of Tampa’s Transportation and Stormwater Services is limiting scooter access before, during and after the parade.

Vik Bhide with the City of Tampa’s Transportation and Stormwater Services Smart Mobility Division said the decision was an effort to ensure people won’t drink and ride a scooter.

“Please don’t drink and ride a scooter, be very careful around the parade route, outside of the no-ride zone especially with a lot of foot traffic, be respectful of pedestrians and just have a good time,” Bhide said.

Bhide said the city will begin limiting access to scooters at 9 p.m. Friday. Normal operations will resume at 9 a.m. Sunday. Bhide says all of the scooter companies are cooperating with this request.

“Part of developing this game plan was we sat down with all four scooter companies,” Bhide said. “I should note that one company will not offer services through the day, but the other three are.”

The company that chose to remove their scooters for the entire weekend is Bird scooters.

Lime, another scooter company, sent the following statement to 8 On Your Side in regards to their decision to limit scooter access during Gasparilla:

“Lime will have a reduced fleet Saturday and will comply with the city’s directives when it comes to geofencing areas close to the event.

Our operations team will actively monitor the points closest to the parade to be on the look out for drunk riding as well as to retrieve any uncharged scooters as soon as possible.

We will also have a feature in our app that prompts anyone attempting to ride a scooter after 10 p.m. to affirm they are not under the influence and are able to drive as a deterrent to drunk riding.

Additionally, we will send several push notifications to all Tampa-based riders in the coming days to remind them not to ride under the influence of drugs or alcohol.”

Russel Murphy, Lime

The City of Tampa said if anyone planned on using scooters to get to the parade, they should either use public transportation, ride-sharing companies, or drive.

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