Cases of vandalism reported as Tampa sees electric scooter ridership soar

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – In the darkness of the night, people wheeled several electric scooters over Channelside Drive and put them on the trolley tracks in the Channel District.

8 On Your Side learned a trolley later came by and slammed into them.

Then, commercial boaters have reported seeing some e-scooters on the bottom of the Hillsborough River.

“The problem is individuals adhering to the rules and regulations that the scooter program provides. And I think that’s the biggest problem,” said Tampa resident Helen Erb.

The recent incidents break the rules and are also deemed vandalism.

While the City of Tampa doesn’t track acts of damage to the scooters, the companies can do so.

A spokesperson with Lime tells 8 On Your Side that the company pursues legal action against anyone who damages its property. Lime works with police to identify and address cases of vandalism. If Lime scooters are tossed into bodies of water, company workers fish them out.

Javi Correoso, a spokesman with Uber, called 8 On Your Side and said the company has retrieved two scooters from the Hillsborough River to date. He added if a user parks a scooter in a right of way, they can be fined $25.

“We get some information on these occurrences, but generally vandalism type of complaints are directed to our police department,” said Jean Duncan, director of the city’s transportation and stormwater services department.

Duncan explained that acts of vandalism with the scooters are quite rare.

“I would say if we crunch the numbers, the majority is everyone is behaving, being responsible, being safe. And it’s a very small fraction that’s not,” Ducan said.

In the past 6 months, scooter riders in Tampa took more than 700,000 trips, city records show. And, they logged around 856,000 miles collectively.

“Generally it’s heavy on the positive side of good behavior,” Duncan noted.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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