Electric scooter company waits to operate until state laws change

Local News

Another company wants to start a ride share program on Oahu, this time using electric scooters. The company is called “Skip” and they want to start operations in Hawaii soon but first the laws need to change.

It weighs just under 60 pounds, is battery operated, and can go as fast as 18 miles per hour.

“The scooter can go up to 18 mph but we can adjust it based on local rules so where we operate in Washington D.C. it’s capped at 10 mph,” said Lauren Urhausen of Skip Scooters.

The plan is to use them only in bike lanes, not on the sidewalk. They don’t have to be docked anywhere like Biki bikes, instead, the scooters would be placed in designated stalls.

“We can identify some places to put corrals which are squares on the ground that have signs with scooters in them, so people know that they can put scooters in designated areas that’s where they can go to pick them up and drop them off,” said Urhausen.

“We don’t have electric scooters in the law right now and that’s what we are establishing,” said Senator Lorraine Inouye.

Inouye says electric scooters are considered illegal on public roadways. One proposal would add a new definition for these devices and they would not be considered mopeds.

“The counties are to decide how they would like to manage to have the scooters; however, we do have some regulations already in the bill,” said Inouye.

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For example under the measure, an “electric foot scooter” would have to weigh less than 75 pounds with a maximum speed of 15 miles per hour. There’s also an age limit and minors are required to wear helmets. Chad Taniguchi of the Hawaii Bicycling League tells us he supports regulation on electric scooters.

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“Safety is going to be a primary thing because they can go fast even though they are governed, they can go fast in short spurts. And if they are up to 75 pounds that’s quite heavy, most bicycles are 25 pounds,” said Taniguchi.

Skip says it met with state and city officials this week. We’ll follow up and let you know what happens.

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