Bird scooters in Lower Greenville on May 24, 2023. Photo by Renee Umsted.

E-scooters and e-bikes are back in town.

Though the official launch of the products isn’t until May 31, a soft launch began May 24.

Three companies — Bird, Lime and Superpedestrian — are permitted to operate through the Dockless Vehicle Program in the City of Dallas. Each vendor can deploy up to 500 devices at a time, though there’s an option for more to be added if companies meet goals for ridership and complaint statistics. For now, there will be 1,350 scooters, 100 seated scooters, 45 e-bikes and five assisted scooters, according to a city website.

This program hasn’t been active since September 2020, when the city stopped it to look into safety concerns. A host of issues were brought up: The devices were parked in the middle of sidewalks, limiting visibility and accessibility for other pedestrians. Parking violations weren’t reported or corrected in a timely manner. There were too many vendors providing too many e-scooters and e-bikes.

The city has tried to address concerns by establishing rules.

People who rent the devices have to park the e-scooters and e-bikes in certain places, such as in parking corrals, bike racks, in the buffer zone between sidewalks and the street, and at the curb facing the street on sidewalks at least 8 feet wide. If they don’t park the rented devices properly, riders can be fined $20.

There are also regulations related to how and where the e-scooters and e-bikes can be used. For example, they can’t be ridden on sidewalks, trails or parks. The maximum speed for e-scooters and e-bikes is 20 mph, and they can only be operated 5 a.m.-9 p.m.

No one younger than 16 years old is allowed to rent e-scooters or e-bikes.

Speeding on e-scooters or e-bikes or riding in areas where it’s not allowed can result in a fine of up to $200 for riders.

More information about rules and reporting violations can be found here.