Palm Desert might give e-scooters a try for a few months

Update: Nope.

Palm Desert may allow a 90 day pilot program for e-scooters.

The city council had previously placed a ban on e-scooters after Bird dropped off a ton of them in the middle of the night in Palm Springs in December.  Now, the council will discuss a pilot program after requesting proposals from five companies, according to the Desert Sun.

Staff issued a request for qualifications/proposals for a pilot program and received responses from five companies – Bird, Lime, Spin, VeoRide and Jump.

“Based on these proposals, city staff gained valuable insight into criteria for considering a pilot program,” Christopher Gerry, a management analyst for the city, said in a staff report.

The proposal provided by Spin most strongly aligns with the city’s desire to regulate hours of operation, where the scooters can and cannot be ridden, where they can be parked, and other practices, Gerry said.

And though the topic is up for discussion, it’s no done deal – as city council members (who, let’s face it, aren’t exactly hip to modern transportation) still have concerns.

“Because it’s new and because other people are doing it, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right for us. We really have to look at this closely,” Councilwoman Jan Harnik said during a recent goal-setting study session.

The newspaper also notes that, “other council members agreed and added that CV Link would be an ideal location for people to ride, but are unsure the scooters belong elsewhere in Palm Desert” – which really isn’t the point of e-scooters, but then this is a town that allows golf carts to drive around pretty much anywhere they want and spends a fortune on a couple of yellow ones to transport old people from Saks Fifth Avenue to Il Corso all weekend.