Recently, companies offering scooter-sharing systems, as well as the electric scooters themselves, have begun appearing around Rīga.
Ilze Dimante, a spokeswoman for the Department of Transport of the Rīga City Council, said that a large number of these companies are approaching the Riga City Council to discuss their business plan, even though the regulations do not require it.
The Department of Transport welcomes such means of transportation.
“We are, of course, supportive of the fact that this initiative is coming and that such means of transport are being introduced to the streets of Rīga. But our request is that the traffic rules are observed. By which I mean that those [scooters] should be left where they don't impede pedestrians. If they are left on the pavement, then they should be placed so that pedestrians, mothers with prams and people with reduced mobility could move safely.
They shouldn't be left in the middle of the pavement or on the road,” said Dimante.
Dimante also noted that, given the urgency of the issue, the municipality is currently working with the Department of Transport on a regulation that will control the use of electric scooters.
Tālivaldis Vectirāns, Director of the Ministry's Department of Motor Vehicles, explained that there are no specific for electric scooter parking, since it is not the privately owned scooters that pose the problem, and the parking of the rented vehicles should be regulated by the providers themselves.
“Those who own a scooter show a great amount of responsibility towards it, and I hope this will continue. On the other hand, the municipality concerned or another road owner may take action against these [companies] in the event that the scooters are parked in the wrong place. They can simply be confiscated, thereby affecting the owner,” saidVectirāns.
One of the service providers is CityBee Latvija. The manager of the company Egija Gailuma explained that users acknowledge their responsibility for the proper parking of the scooters when they register in the system.
“What we do is simple – we educate users. Users have to agree to the terms and conditions, which state that no pedestrian, or anyone moving in the area were the scooter is left, should be obstructed. They should be left on the side of the pavement or at the bicycle rack,” explained Gailuma.
However, Gailuma noted that if a complaint is made, the company staff try to inspect the scooter and move it to a place where it would no longer be an obstacle.
Kristīne Šeiko, a spokeswoman for Bolt, a large electric scooter rental company, emphasized that users are urged to acquaint themselves with the terms and conditions, which include information about the parking of the scooters after the end of the ride.
Meanwhile, Ilze Dimante opined that residents rarely complain about abandoned scooters. She advised, however, to inform the municipal police if a scooter is seen to be parked in an unsuitable location.