Electric scooter rentals available in downtown Tampa

Electronic scooters are officially available for rent in the city of Tampa.

Spin - one of four companies set to open up shop downtown - is ready to roll out its scooters after securing six permits for docking locations. The pilot program began Saturday.

"That half-mile to mile and a half trip they would take with their car or with an Uber is something that we can replace," Spin Operations Manager Dan Fleischbein said. "Our customer is a very wide range of different people. People off all ages ride this. In all cities, we have some different rules."

Tampa is now one of dozens of cities across the country allowing e-scooter companies to operate, but the city says it's only a test, for now.

For now, scooters will only be allowed on the sidewalks, but that could change. Pending legislation could soon allow them on the roads.

Cities that already have e-scooters have experienced their fair share of problems, including crashes, and even deaths. Clutter has also been an issue with people pilling up scooters on the sidewalks.

"We've got people on the streets 24/7 to make sure that we are parked properly. We have maps and we're constantly checking on scooters," Fleischbein said.

In order to make sure people park them properly, you're required to snap a photo of your scooter parked properly before you can end your ride.

As for safety, helmets aren't required, but are strongly recommended.

"The injuries happen on first-time riders. And they do happen occasionally with head injuries and the reason for that is they are unaware ,so we do highly recommend them," Fleischbein said.

Spin's permits have been approved for docking stations at the following locations:

- Zach Street between Ashley and Tampa streets (near SkyPoint Condominiums)
- Cass Street between Ashley and Tampa streets (near Marriott Hotel)
- Twiggs Street (near Amtrak Station)
- Madison Street between Channelside Drive and Meridian Avenue
- Franklin Street between Brorein and Whiting streets (near USF building)
- Channelside Drive between Meridian Street and Beneficial Drive (near Sparkman Wharf)