ST. GEORGE — The company behind the electric scooters in St. George has proposed a pilot program for another Southern Utah city.
The Santa Clara City Council announced in a work meeting Wednesday that Zagster proposed a one-month pilot that would take place from mid-October to mid-November. City Manager Brock Jacobsen said this pilot would consist of expanding St. George’s already-existing program into Santa Clara during that time.
There would be a maximum of five deployment areas within the city, with an average of five scooters at each location. During the meeting, members of the council speculated about where the best locations might be, saying that a few scooters at city hall with the rest around the vacation rentals might yield the best results.
Response times for repairs would be slightly longer than St. George’s average call time, at about two to three hours, Jacobsen said.
“We should probably note that this is very unique,” councilman Jarett Waite said. “They (Zagster) don’t usually do pilot programs, but they’re willing to try it.”
Waite told the council that Zagster said they hardly ever get a neighboring city asking to have their own program. Kaci Lund attended a previous work meeting to discuss the possibility of having e-scooters in the city. Lund manages vacation homes located in Santa Clara and said she contacted Jacobsen after she recognized a need for more effective short-distance transportation for her guests.
Councilwoman Mary Jo Hafen said she feels much more secure with participating in the pilot program first, especially with having learned that riders are required to be 18 or older. Hafen said she isn’t sure there will be enough interest or use of the scooters to warrant a contract with the company.
Following the conclusion of the program in November, Jacobsen said there would be some discussion about whether it is viable for Zagster and Santa Clara to work together to bring scooters to the city.
St. George signed an agreement with Zagster last year that opened the city to droves of e-bikes. A year later, the city signed another agreement to bring 100 electric scooters to the area.
Now, the city has about 400 Zagster scooters with talks to increase that number to 600 scooters in the near future. The company locates each scooter daily and they are picked up, charged and delivered to a drop-off site.
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