Pilot program: Milwaukee Common Council passes measure allowing dockless scooters on city streets

MILWAUKEE -- On the heels of Governor Tony Evers' bill signing  on Monday, July 8 that allowed for the use of electric scooters on roads and sidewalks, Milwaukee now has its own ordinance. On Tuesday, July 9, the Milwaukee Common Council passed a measure allowing for a pilot program allowing for dockless scooters.

Ald. Bob Bauman

"The Legislature acted, passed a bill which essentially legalized electric scooters on the roads of Wisconsin. Under the Milwaukee rules, we will undertake a pilot program. Any operator of scooters can apply to participate in the pilot program," said Alderman Bob Bauman, Milwaukee's 4th District.

The measure's advancement raised a lot of concerns regarding public safety.

"Nobody's talked about helmets. Nobody's talked about alcohol. Nobody's talked about anything, and, quite frankly, it's not a matter of if. It's a matter of when we're going to be liable as a city," said Alderman Mark Borkowski, Milwaukee's 11th District.

The main concerns involved enforcement of one of the main rules -- no scooters on the sidewalk -- only places bikes can go.

Ald. Mark Borkowski

"I am a little concerned that the police have not weighed in on this issue," said Alderman Bob Donovan, Milwaukee's 8th District.

If sidewalk usage becomes widespread, the pilot study ordinance empowers the commissioner of Public Works to end the program and prohibit motorized scooters throughout the city.

"Then, the commissioner of the Public Works has the authority to revoke everybody's pilot program, and send the scooters packing," said Alderman Bauman.

The measure passed overwhelmingly Tuesday.

The collective agreement here was that with scooters being allowed across the state, the city needed to have some rules in place.

"If we do not adopt a regulatory framework, then under state statue, they are just plain legal. They can just show up. Then you would have chaos," said Alderman Bauman.

Again, scooters are prohibited from sidewalk use.

Alderman said being caught violating this may result in fines up to $100, and potentially the revocation of that scooter company's license.

CLICK HERE for more information on the city's pilot program from the Department of Public Works -- including the application for the program.