Joseph Witham, St. George News, File

E-scooters returning to St. George after 6-month hiatus

By Graham Dudley, | Posted - Sep. 5, 2020 at 5:33 p.m.

ST. GEORGE — Months after e-scooters first arrived on the streets of Salt Lake City, Spin launched a fleet of scooters in St. George in March 2019.

The scooters were popular, with more than 124,000 rides taken that year on a fleet of up to 400 scooters, according to company data. But the scooters disappeared from St. George streets after the conclusion of the entities' original one-year contract.

Spin and the city of St. George announced Friday that the scooters will be back beginning later this month. The St. George City Council voted Thursday to approve a two-year contract with three possible one-year renewals.

A fleet of 250 scooters will be deployed at the outset, the city and company announced in a joint statement.

Marc Mortensen, St. George's director of support services, said in the statement the city is "thrilled to have Spin scooters back."

“The Micromobility Review Committee went through an extensive Request for Proposal (RFP) process with many great companies and loved what Spin is able to provide," Mortensen said. "We enjoyed working with them last year and look forward to continuing our relationship with them.”

Spin will be the city's exclusive scooter provider, meaning other micromobility companies like Lime and Bird will not operate in the city. Spin will install two St. George charging stations that can charge up to six scooters apiece at locations to be determined.

Alex April, Spin senior government partnership manager, said the company is "thrilled" to partner with St. George "for at least the next two years."

"Spin commits to working with city staff and local community stakeholders to ensure that Spin scooters and charging stations increase transportation options, while reducing congestion and pollution," April said.

The release said e-scooters were popular transportation options for Dixie State University students and downtown tourists when they last operated in the city. An event to mark the relaunch of Spin scooters will be held at Dixie State at noon on Sept. 28.

E-scooters were introduced to northern Utah streets in 2018, quickly becoming both popular and controversial. Eventually Salt Lake City negotiated with several scooter companies to remain in the city, but prohibited their use on sidewalks. There is no such sidewalk rule in St. George, a city official told, though he said scooters are generally best to ride in places one would ride a bicycle.

Graham Dudley

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