Electric scooters, aka “e-scooters,” have returned to Portland for a year-long pilot program starting in April 2019. (E-scooters first rolled into Portland in July 2018 for a four-month pilot program organized by the Portland Bureau of Transportation.) Like Portland’s bike-sharing service, Biketown, e-scooter sharing lets users rent vehicles via an app for one-way trips. Powered by an electric motor and maxing out at 15 miles per hour, these e-scooters are another energy efficient alternative to driving a car.
Riding an e-scooter is usually as simple as downloading the service’s app and using it to unlock a scooter. Thinking of taking one for a spin? Here are some important rules of the road to know before hopping aboard to help keep you — and those around you — safe.
E-scooter rules in Portland
- WEAR A HELMET. Oregon law requires you to wear a helmet while riding an e-scooter. (Not wearing one could result in a citation and a $25 fine.) You can rent a helmet at Pedal Bike Tours or Cycle Portland Bike Tours.
- YIELD TO PEDESTRIANS. Anyone riding an e-scooter is always required to yield to pedestrians.
- STAY OFF THE SIDEWALK. Riding e-scooters on the sidewalk is prohibited. The only time an e-scooter may be on the sidewalk is if it is already parked, being parked on the curb or being walked.
- RIDE IN THE BICYCLE LANE. Ride your scooter with the flow of traffic in a bicycle lane. It is okay to use the vehicle lane when there is no bike lane. (Pro tip: If you can’t spot a visible bike lane, ride your e-scooter on the right side of the lane nearest the sidewalk.)
- PARK ON THE CURB. Never block the sidewalk with an e-scooter. E-scooters must be parked on the sidewalk as close to the curb as possible. It is prohibited to park an e-scooter in any way that blocks pedestrian traffic. (It is especially important that access to sidewalk wheelchair ramps remains unobstructed.)
- ONE PERSON PER SCOOTER. That’s all!
- RIDE WITH CARE. Keep e-scooting fun for everybody by riding with care: Be courteous to other travelers, pedestrians and folks with disabilities, and don’t ride recklessly or in a way that could injure you or others.
- DON’T RIDE IN PARKS. Scooters are prohibited in Portland Parks (including the Springwater Corridor Trail).
- DON’T RIDE UNDER THE INFLUENCE. Riding a scooter while under the influence of intoxicants is illegal and may result in a DUII.
- DON’T BRING SCOOTERS ON PUBLIC TRANSIT. Scooters are not allowed on buses, MAX Light Rail or Portland Streetcar.
Learn more about Portland’s shared electric scooter pilot program.