Press Releases

May 14, 2024
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NYC DOT Announces Timeline for Arrival of E-Scooter Share in Eastern Queens This Summer

Expansion will build on the success of scooter share in the Bronx, which promoted equity and environmentally-friendly transportation options in 'transit deserts' not reached by subways

With continued community engagement, Queens installation will begin this spring, with an anticipated late-June official launch

NEW YORK – New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez announced next steps in NYC DOT's plans to launch e-scooter share in Eastern Queens this summer. The program, first announced last June, is designed to cover four community boards, approximately 20 square miles in area from Flushing and Auburndale in the north to Rochdale Village and Springfield Gardens in the south. The expansion builds on the success of e-scooter sharing in the East Bronx, where commuters have already recorded 3.8 million trips among more than 157,000 unique user accounts since service launched in August 2021. The program expansion into Queens will provide critical connections to major transportation and commercial hubs for roughly 600,000 residents.

"We are very excited for this summer's arrival of e-scooter sharing in Eastern Queens following our successful East Bronx pilot, where nearly 4 million rides have been taken since August 2021," said NYC DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. "This expansion is an equitable way to bring a popular, safe, and environmentally sustainable mode of transportation to underserved neighborhoods in Queens, and we look forward to continuing our work with these communities as e-scooter share expands."

As part of its public outreach efforts last year, NYC DOT opened an online feedback portal and conducted on-street surveying in the proposed service zone. The Queens e-scooter share expansion will include all three companies currently operating in the Bronx: Bird, Lime, and Veo. The expansion covers several Tier 1 and Tier 2 Priority Investment Areas, which are defined in the NYC Streets Plan as city areas with higher percentages of non-white and low-income populations; higher job and population density; and lower levels of past NYC DOT investment.

The timeline for the 2024 planning, outreach, and installation will be as follows:

  • May – DOT follow-up presentations to community boards
  • Early/Mid-June - DOT begins corral installations
  • Late June – Program launches, with rollout beginning in the southern part of the service area

*All of these dates are approximate.

Map Description
A map of the proposed e-scooter sharing expansion in eastern Queens.

This past fall, NYC DOT conducted on-street engagement in the borough in addition to planning briefings with elected officials, community boards, business improvement districts, colleges, hospitals, and partner agencies. This outreach focused on educating residents on the program's possibilities and soliciting feedback on placement of parking corrals, which create identifiable locations and organize parking away from the public right of way. This year's outreach will consist of presenting corral locations, selected with public input from 2023.

The additional outreach accompanying this year's launch in Queens will include raising awareness of the service and highlighting discount pricing options. New Yorkers who receive or qualify for local, state, or federal assistance programs (e.g. SNAP, NYCHA, discounted utility bill) are eligible for discounted e-scooter rates. Over 2,000 users took more than 275,000 rides between August 2021 and December 2023 were taken in the Bronx using discounted pricing offerings.

Another provision from the successful Bronx pilot to be carried over to Queens is that all companies must provide wheelchair-accessible scooters available for rental to residents with ambulatory disabilities.

In November 2022, NYC DOT released an evaluation report highlighting the successes of the Bronx pilot and examining uses after more than 1.4 million rides. The report found the e-scooter share pilot provided functional and accessible mobility options to historically underserved communities and offered an environmentally friendly mobility option, reducing dependence on motor vehicle usage. The service was also determined to provide 'last-mile' connection to subway stations, bus, and ferry stops. The average trip distance in the Bronx was one mile.

Safety remains central to contractual and operational requirements for the e-scooter program and NYC DOT requires an in-app safety training and quiz and age verification for new riders. A 'Beginner Mode' also limits a new rider's first three trips to be speed-limited at 10 mph and cannot be started during overnight hours. Thanks to these requirements, DOT has recorded few serious injuries and no fatalities through the program so far. Since the program launched, there have been fewer than one crash reported per 10,000 trips.

"I am very excited that the city's e-scooter sharing program wil soon be operating in Eastern Queens," said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. "Making e-scooters more easily available is a great way to help New Yorkers get where they need to go, especially those New Yorkers who live in traditionally undeserved communities. With so much of Queens existing within a transit desert, I am pleased the DOT is being creative and proactive in finding ways to make it easier for our residents to get around."

"We applaud the City of New York and the residents of eastern Queens for their commitment to offering convenient, environmentally friendly, and reliable transportation options to residents and visitors," said Bird Chief Executive Officer Stewart Lyons. "Expanding our micromobility service into Queens builds on the success of our pilot in the Bronx and represents a significant step toward creating a more equitable and sustainable transportation network throughout New York City."

"Bronx riders demonstrated shared e-scooters can work in the Big Apple, using them to connect to work, school, and public transit," said Lime Senior Manager for Government Relations Nicole Yearwood. "We're excited to expand to Queens to continue building new connections, including north and south, and beyond the end of subway lines. We're eager to continue our listening tour in eastern Queens neighborhoods over the coming months to provide the best possible service in the world's borough. In the Bronx we've powered nearly 1.9 million rides so far and we are proud of our strong safety record and the diversity of our riders, who have reflected the diversity of the city on everything from demographics to income. We take pride in building deep relationships and partnerships with the communities we serve, and with that in mind we look forward to working with DOT to gather feedback from the Queens community and build out parking strategies that ensure this launch will benefit everyone who is impacted. We're looking forward to replicating the success we've had in the Bronx to serve more New Yorkers with safe, sustainable, and equitable transportation options."

"Veo applauds Mayor Adams and the NYC DOT for taking this significant step to double down on creating an accessible and affordable transportation future for all New Yorkers," said Veo Head of Policy and Partnerships Alex Keating. "In the Bronx, Veo's mixed fleet of standing and seated vehicles is increasing access like never before, particularly for riders of diverse ages and abilities. With nearly 40 percent of our riders using Veo to connect to transit, shared scooters are becoming an essential component of New York City's transportation system. As we expand to eastern Queens, Veo is committed to partnering with the City to ensure our service meets community needs from Flushing to Jamaica."