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  • Harvey Maynard posted an update 10 months ago

    scooter sharing in honolulu became officially recognized and regulated in Hawaii with Gov. David Ige’s signing of House Bill 72 into Act 174 last week.

    Go X, a micro-mobility company that partners with businesses as local staging points, is among those poised to benefit from the change. It began introducing its shared electric scooters in Hawaii in February in anticipation of the law.

    As part of the changes, the scooters must be registered and docked at specific county-authorized locations. In 2018, micro-mobility company Lime removed its controversial, sidewalk-cluttering scooters from Hawaii after the city impounded them for failing to register the scooters as mopeds.

    Go X now has about 1000 scooters in operation among a rotated fleet of 2000. Users rent the scooters, typically paying by the minute, then drop them off at one of the business partners displayed on the company’s mobile app. The app displayed 37 Waikiki locations, mostly hotels, as well as the International Market Place.

    “Now that Hawaii’s electric foot scooter law is a part of the state’s traffic code, Go X looks forward to expanding our fun, convenient and affordable service to other parts of Oahu and eventually the neighbor islands," Debelov said in a Go X release.

    Act 174 explicitly classifies electric scooters separately from mopeds and caps their legal speed at 15 mph, with 15 the minimum age to operate them on a highway, street, road or other public area. Go X stipulates its riders must be at least 17.

    According to Go X CEO Alex Debelov, the company has collaborated with the City and County of Honolulu for several months. Its vehicles have been used for 50,000 rides covering 250,000 miles since their introduction in Waikiki.

    Go X’s scooters cost $1 to activate and 88 cents for each ensuing minute, or can be used with daily, weekly and monthly plans. Go X scooters may not be dropped at a random location; users can be assessed a $150 fine if they do so.

    HB 72 was supported by the Hawaii State Energy Office, the state Department of Transportation, the Honolulu Police Department, and the city Department of Transportation Services, with electric scooters’ potential as a green, alternative mode of transport frequently cited.

    Besides Honolulu, Go X is now operation in Galveston, Texas; Clearwater, St. Petersburg, and Daytona Beach in Florida; and Reykjavik, Iceland. It claims 2500 total business partners for scooter hosting.