Could Hartford’s E-Scooter Idea Work in Downtown Danbury?
On April 22, one hundred silver and yellow rentable electric scooters arrived in the downtown Hartford area, according to the Hartford Courant. Their new rent-a-scooter program kicked off on Earth Day.
I got to thinking, could this same type of e-scooter program work successfully in Danbury's downtown area? What could go wrong? Hartford has partnered with the transportation robotics company, Superpedestrian which will operate the scooter-sharing service called LINK. In addition, Hartford is offering free safety training and a helmet giveaway.
LINK provides a customized city map built into the scooters that prevent sidewalk riding and other areas where they're not meant to go. When the rider approaches a geofenced zone, the scooter comes to a stop.
In Hartford, the cost is $1 to unlock the scooter, then 36 cents per minute after that. So if you do the math, it works out to be $11.80 for a 30-minute ride, including the $1 unlock fee.
So, what do you think? Would this scooter-sharing concept work in downtown Danbury? In my opinion, the answer is a flat NO and I'll tell you why. I've driven on Main Street in Danbury and it's a crazy town!
People drive way too fast and take too many chances. Remember, these scooters are programmed not to operate on sidewalks. Downtown Danbury drivers would freak out if they saw one of these electric scooters approaching in their side-view mirror. So down comes the car window and the expletives begin to fly.
On the positive side, I picture a scenario of people at Kennedy Flats renting an e-scooter to buzz up to Two Steps Grille or Empire of the Incas for a bite. The same can be said for occupants who will move into the new Brookfield Commons II on Main Street when it's completed. Another e-scooter destination could be The Palace Danbury which reopens on June 19.