It’s been 14 months since the first dockless scooters popped up around Atlanta. Now, Atlanta will become the first city in the country to have dedicated charging stations for the devices.
The first charging station was unveiled Monday in front of Woodruff Park in downtown Atlanta. It’s a nine-scooter stable, with a charging cord in each spot.
Dan Waldman, co-founder of Charge, the company that makes the docking stations said it’s a simple reason why they chose Atlanta.
“To prove that micro-mobility can work here in a safe and reliable way,” Waldman said at the unveiling.
He said the plan is to install 250 stations all within a 3-mile radius of the BeltLine. Waldman said they are aware that a benefit of the scooters is being able to pick them up and drop them off wherever it’s convenient.
“We’re not looking to remove the dockless model,” he said. “We’re looking to work with it to make it a more sustainable model.”
There are currently seven companies with scooters in the city that could use the stations: Bird, Lime, Lyft, Uber, Jump, Bolt and Gotcha.
Earlier this year, Atlanta's City Council passed regulations to help control the boom by requiring companies to get a permit before operating here, setting limitations on where scooters can be ridden and parked, and adding speed limits.
But Councilman Matt Westmoreland said the city still has a problem with clutter.
“If something like this can be a piece of the solution to getting them out of the middle of the sidewalk and off to a side where they can both be away from pedestrians and charging, I think that’s a win,” Westmoreland said.
The charging station also caught the eye of Atlanta resident Dyanndron Kinchelow, who said, right now, it seems like a good idea.
“I’d drop it off right at the charging station to try to be more considerate,” Kinchelow said. “Everybody’s got to do their part to keep them out the street.”
As for juicers, the people who get paid to collect and charge the scooters, they’re free to use the stations too.
“We’re not looking to displace anybody, we’re working with both the operators and the juicer with the gig economy,” Waldman said.
The other charging stations will be rolled out over the next 60 days in conjunction with city needs and requirements.