North Tonawanda, NY (WBEN) From Paris, France to North Tonawanda, USA, the e-scooter is under some tough scrutiny.
In Paris, voters widely moved to banish the e-scooter, and the result wasn't close. City Hall said just over 103,000 people voted, with 89% rejecting e-scooters and just 11% supporting them.
The scooters in Paris will vanish in August when the contract expires.
Closer to home the scooters may never reappear in North Tonawanda as a pilot e-scooter program was canceled early, despite the mayor calling it a success.
Mayor Austin Tylec tells WBEN he believed last summer's program went well. "We had no accidents among thousands of riders" over a five week period before the e-scooters were put away for winter. He says people enjoy easy access to get to events, restaurants, homes and parks.
Tylec says when Bird left for the season, there was a council member who ended up proposing canceling the contract with Bird. "It was sometime I'd say at the end of December that they proposed this to the council, which was kind of a shock to me. And the council unanimously canceled the contract for this upcoming year. And I didn't really understand why," says Tylec. He says he got a lot of positive feedback from those who rode it, saying it was an easy way to get around town.
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Will the e-scooters come back this summer? Tylec says he's in a limbo state as the contract was to run through this September. "I'm planning on following up with Bird as the weather's getting nicer now, and just seeing what our options might be, same with our attorney. But I'd love to get public feedback on how they felt it went positive or negative," adds Tylec.
While voters in Paris voted overwhelmingly to reject e-scooters, Tylec says he doesn't know much about the vote itself, but believes Paris has a dense enough area to support a relatively affordable way to get around town. "I think it's one of those things where there's always ways to tweak an initiative like this, whether it's you require helmets, or you do kind of certain traffic rules, set different parameters that specific and works with your own municipality," says Tylec.
Tylec says his relationship with Bird was excellent.