E-scooter company unveils docking rewards program

Image 1 of 2

Electric scooters seem to have taken over sidewalks in downtown Tampa. The latest trend has become a frustration for many residents.

"There's a lot of good things, but there's some bad things," said Tampa City Councilman Luis Viera.

The e-scooter program allows users to rent a scooter and then leave it is convenient, as long as they park the scooters out of pedestrians' way.

The problem is - not all users want to follow the rules.

"A lot of them are placed on the sidewalks, sometimes even on the road," said Viera. "That's obviously a big public hazard."

Spin, one of the four scooter companies in Tampa, has heard the concerns. It's taking action by placing docking stations around town, where scooters will be charged and kept out of the way.

"It's very fixable. So the system we designed is to be able to bring order to that, but also charge it," said Colin Roche, the CEO of Swiftmile, the company working with Spin to install the docking stations.

Users will not be required to return their scooters to the hubs, however, there are incentives for those who do.

"Spin calls it an achievement point, so those can be used for a free ride," said Roche. "Eventually, in the future, maybe a free cup of coffee or things like that."

Currently, Spin is the only scooter company to create a solution to the growing scooter complaints in Tampa. If the docking stations prove to be a success, the city is hopeful other companies will follow suit.

"A lot of people support the scooters, but we want to make sure how we tame the excess of scooter use and this is a good means by which we can do that," said Viera.

FOC 13 reached out to the other scooter companies operating in Tampa to see if they have similar plans in the works. At this time, Lime was the only company to respond, saying it views the dockless system as more beneficial to users.