Electric scooter trend on way to Wichita

WICHITA, Kan. Recently, electric scooters have shown up in more than 100 cities across the U.S. Pretty soon, they're expected across Wichita, too.

It's a trend city leaders are preparing for. The increased scooter traffic in Wichita could happen within the next few months, but not at night. Limiting the rides to daylight is one regulation, the City of Wichita plans to have in place.

The city's director of transit, Mike Tann, says the conversation about electric scooters in the city started when Bird, the largest scooter-share service in the country reached out to him about moving into Wichita.

Since then, five more companies came calling with the same idea.

"It sort of morphed into a much larger discussion than we originally thought," Tann said.

Tann says bike paths like the one behind Exploration Place are where you'll see most of the scooter traffic. Tann says there isn't a set timetable for when the scooters would become available and the city is making sure those scooters are a safe option.

The safety of the electric scooters has been in question for awhile. Lasts September, a 24-year-old man in Dallas died from his injuries after crashing an electric scooter.

Tann says he's been in contact with other cities who have electric scooters to try and avoid some of these safety problems.

"The growing pains that a lot of communities have had, we're thinking we can avoid," he says.

He says most of the safety features will come from the company who owns the scooters. They have the ability to control things like when and where they scooters will operate and even the scooters' speed in certain areas.

As the city's done its research on bringing in electric scooters, Tann thinks it's something the city will safely enjoy.

"There is so much information out there, especially the bad more than the good, so we're looking at everything from both sides to make sure we've got everything covered," he says.

A man part of the agreement the City of Wichita is offering to the scooter-share companies is that a percentage of money made on the rentals comes back to the transit department.

Tann says that money will be used for things like safety and bikeway improvements.