A week after Gov. Murphy signed legislation allowing electric scooters on New Jersey roadways, Hoboken rolled out its Lime and Ojo scooter share program Monday.
This is the first electric scooter program in New Jersey and in the New York metro area. The pilot launch includes 250 scooters from San Francisco-based Lime scooters and 50 from Ojo Electric, in partnership with New York-based smart city development company P3GM, available over the next six months.
“Hoboken for us is an amazing location to be the first e-scooter dock free program in the tri-state area,” said Phil Jones, Lime’s senior director of east coast government relations and strategic partnerships. “It has the highest utilization of public transportation in the nation. It’s the perfect place to show how this mode of transportation can work.”
Lime scooters are $1 to unlock and $0.15 per minute to ride. Each scooter is GPS and 3G-enabled, allowing riders to find and unlock scooters using their smartphone. At the end of the ride, riders end the ride on their mobile app and park the scooter by the street curb or a bike rack.
Lime will host rider demonstrations, safety tutorials, and helmet giveaways over the next month. There will be a rider education event by the PATH train from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. May 20, 21, and 22; at 14th Street Ferry Terminal on May 28; at Pier A on June 1; at Columbus Square Park on June 6; and at Mama Johnson Field at 4th Street on June 15.
“Our rider safety and community neighbor safety is the most important thing to us,” Jones said. “We’re conducting first rider demos, doing tutorials on how to model safe behavior through helmet wearing and understanding the use of the road. With all its bike lanes, a city like Hoboken is the perfect place to show how to use this transportation safely.”
Ojo Electric scooters will cost $1.25 to unlock and $0.18 per minute to ride. While Lime scooters are made for riders to stand, Ojo scooters are seated. Ojo will host an educational event at the PATH train from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday.
“We believe this area of the country is ripe for mobility improvements, and the cities and residents stand to benefit greatly,” said Ojo Electric Chief Executive Officer Max Smith in a statement. “The Ojo scooter is a far different product than all of the kick-scooters in the market from a safety, quality and comfort standpoint, but the real difference maker for city planners and customers alike is usage and range. While kick-scooters are used for short trips, Ojo is providing a true alternative to cars in the micro-mobility space by servicing longer trips. ”
Hoboken city council authorized the use of e-scooters ahead of legislation in April, paving the way for the scooter share pilot program.
The new law allows electric scooters and motorized bicycles capable of traveling 20 miles per hour or slower to operate on streets highways, and bike paths. The operator is not required to register the vehicle, furnish proof of insurance, or have a driver’s license.
All statutes and regulations that apply to ordinary bicycles apply to low speed motorized bicycles and e-scooters.