After the City of Hoboken launched its electronic scooter sharing program in May, with two companies – Lime and Ojo – placing the vehicles on corners, the system was praised by those who find scooters a convenient and economically friendly way to get around the Mile-Square City. It was also criticized by those who’ve seen riders misuse the devices and are worried about safety.
In June, the administration of Mayor Ravi Bhalla proposed bringing the matter to a non-binding public vote in November, but a majority of the city council voted against the referendum.
In September, someone on a scooter slammed into a mother and child. The next day, the city canceled the program with Ojo but has kept the program with Lime.
On Wednesday, the city announced that it has hired two Micromobility Code Enforcement Officers (MCEOs). The two workers will be funded through a revenue share agreement with Lime that was adopted in August, so taxpayers won’t foot the bill.
According to a release from the city, the officers will work with Lime and the police to suspend accounts of those violating the regulations.
Hoboken residents have complained on social media about people riding on sidewalks, riding two to a scooter, and allowing kids to ride. Since May, three people have been cited in the city for allegedly riding while intoxicated.
According to the city, “MCEOs will be tasked with enforcing city ordinances and regulations pertaining to micromobility devices, including e-scooters, bicycles, e-skateboards, etc… The MCEOs will educate riders, as well as provide summonses to riders who violate the city’s ordinances. The MCEOs will focus on enforcement of e-scooter violations, such as riding on sidewalks, riding in parks and prohibited areas on the waterfront walkway, not obeying traffic control devices, and more. MCEOs will also partner with local organizations to lead micromobility safety and education initiatives.”
The city also wants to see residents and business owners share something besides scooters— their opinions. In a release, they invited “members of the community” to take a survey about the pilot program, “which will provide important feedback to the city as it considers the future of the program.”
The survey asks if respondents strongly agree or disagree about six benefits of the scooters and two negatives, and also includes several places for respondents to give suggestions and feedback. The survey is limited to one response per person.
Paper versions of the survey can be filled out in the Office of Constituent Services located on the first floor of City Hall, 94 Washington Street, between the hours of 9 and 4 Monday through Friday. For more information on the program, visit http://www.hobokennj.gov/escooters.