No new scooter permits will be issued in Atlanta, mayor says

ATLANTA — Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced Thursday that no new permits for e-scooters will be issued in Atlanta until officials can address safety issues.

The order will not affect companies with existing permits. Six months ago, Atlanta permitted 10 companies to operate more than 13,000 e-scooters.

Bottoms said in a statement that the decision comes in response to scooter-related deaths in the city. A man was killed last week after a bus collided with his scooter as he headed home from an Atlanta United game. Another man was killed in May when he was hit by a car outside a MARTA station.

On Wednesday, dozens of people took to the streets to demand safer roads after the death of Brad Alexander last week. A bus hit and killed Alexander along West Peachtree Street. Police said Thursday that they are not charging the bus driver and that Alexander fell under the right rear tires.

Channel 2's Richard Elliot talked to Tim Keane, Atlanta's city planning commissioner, about the decision to restrict scooter permits.

"The city has a responsibility here and we are doing the best we can to make sure people will be safe in those operations," Keane said. "This is critical -- making safe places, because it's safety for people on scooters, but also for people not on scooters -- people walking the sidewalk or drivers."


Keane told Elliot he believes the scooters are a good thing, keeping hundreds, if not thousands, of cars off the road.

"Changing the streets is a critical aspect of this," Keane said. "We've been doing it, and we need to do a lot more of it. And we need to do it faster."

The moratorium goes into effect immediately.

Bottoms also announced Thursday a plan to introduce legislation next month to address the "long-term impacts" and strain and safety hazards scooters put on the city.

Last month, new rules took effect that require riders to slow down to 8 mph on part of the Eastside trial of the BeltLIne and in city parks every day from 6 p.m. through 6 a.m.

Riders can also be fined if caught riding on sidewalks.