Asheville’s Bike and Scooter Share Study Seeks Public Input

Several share bikes on a sidewalk.

The City of Asheville’s bike share feasibility initiative continues and has widened in scope to include consideration of electric scooters (also called e-scooters).

Bike or e-scooter share is a way for someone to use a bike or scooter for a short time at a reasonable rate. Some bike share systems are station-based, like those in Washington, DC or Chattanooga, Tenn., and some use free-standing bikes like Lime Bike or Zagster. E-scooters, like those from Bird or Lime, are not docked.

The city will continue this community conversation with a drop-in style public meeting from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm on Feb. 18 at the Buncombe County Building, 200 College St., First Floor Conference Room. There staff and the consultant will check in with the community to summarize input received so far and to discuss the implications and gauge community interest in adding e-scooters to the equation.

The study started in 2018. The city’s transportation department worked with a stakeholders group and conducted two public meetings on the topic as well as online survey.

Questions staff are asking include is bike share right for Asheville? Does the city have necessary bike infrastructure to support a bike share program? If e-scooters were incorporated or used instead, what could that look like?

In November, Asheville City Council voted to ban the use of e-scooters in the city — for now. This came after the Bird e-scooter company deposited a few hundred scooters on Asheville streets without permission in October.

The purpose of the ban was to allow the city to have time to study the potential use of e-scooters. City council will have the final say in terms of whether they will be allowed. And if they are allowed how we are going to regulate them in the right of way.

Residents invited to weigh in

The city is asking residents for their take on whether bike share or e-scooters would be a good fit in the City of Asheville. City staff invite everyone to come be part of the discussion Feb. 18. Residents will also be able to weigh in through an online survey to be available soon on Open City Hall Asheville.

Once this round of engagement has been conducted, a report will be shared with City Council in March.

Spanish language translation will be available at the Feb. 18 meeting.

The meeting location (200 College St.) is on ART’s E1 and E2 bus routes. Use ART’s Transit App to get real-time information on bus arrivals. The app can even help map your bus ride from where you are to where you want to go.

Find more information on this initiative on an information page City of Asheville website.