e-Scooter program arrives in SandyJul 17, 2019 10:51AM ● By Justin Adams
Sandy Chief Administrative Officer Matt Huish test-drives one of the e-scooters. (Justin Adams/City Journals)
By Justin Adams | [email protected]
The downtown-ification of Sandy’s west side is continuing apace this summer as July saw the arrival of e-scooters in the city.
The scooters, managed by a company called Lime, allow users to download an app that unlocks the scooters for $1 and then charges 25 cents for every minute the scooter is in use.
The scooters are designed to solve the “first mile-last mile” problem, which is that most peoples’ homes and destinations aren’t quite close enough to a public transit stop so they resort to driving in their cars.
For example, many people who attend events at Rio Tinto Stadium may be deterred from taking TRAX to get there because the closest station is a solid 10-15 minute walk depending on the person. Or consider Hale Centre Theatre, where attendees are in for at least a 20-minute walk from the nearest TRAX station.
Now, the city hopes more people will consider using public transportation to arrive in the general vicinity of their destination and then use one of the 200 Lime e-scooters now stationed in the city to make it the rest of the way. (Users should be aware the scooters are only operable between the hours of 5 a.m. and midnight and from 8600 South to 11400 South and from I-15 to 700 East.)
“This is a historic day in Sandy,” said Mayor Kurt Bradburn during a July 8 press conference at City Hall where the e-scooter program was officially launched. “This is a big part of our future.”
That future is the Cairns District, a geographic area that spans from 9000 South to 11400 South and from I-15 to 700 East, which Bradburn calls the city’s economic engine. The area already boasts many attractions like Rio Tinto Stadium, Hale Centre Theatre, the Shops at South Town, the Sandy Expo Center. As the area continues to develop into the valley’s “second downtown,” the ability to quickly navigate through it will be paramount.
“This sort of downtown feel only works if it’s accessible and people can move around easily,” said Bradburn.
The mayor also touted the introduction of the e-scooter program as another way in which the city is helping combat air pollution (having installed 45 electric vehicle charging stations throughout the city in June).
“Getting people out of their cars is the only way we’re going to reduce air pollution,” he said.
The scooters, however, are only here on a three-month trial basis. Whether they stay or go will depend on how much they’re used, according to the mayor.
“We don’t want to have things littered and cluttered up sidewalks. So it’s going to be driven by how much demand there is,” he told the Sandy Journal.