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.
Biketown Bike-Share in Portland
Introduced in 2016, Portland’s bike-share program brings 1,000 smart bicycles to the central city.
The 4T trail is a self-guided tour that lets you explore the city — and see some of the best views — without a car.
Bicycle Maps & Where to Ride
With bike lanes and paths throughout the city, Portland has great places to ride for cyclists of all abilities.
Car- and Ride-Sharing
Car- and ride-sharing services in Portland make it easier than ever to get around the city without bringing your own vehicle.
MAX Light Rail
Beyond big trees and picnic tables, Washington Park offers a zoo, two museums, gardens and more, all bordered by one of the country’s premier urban wildernesses.
The TriMet bus system, which covers the city and its suburbs, offers low fares, friendly drivers and full wheelchair accessibility.
In 2001, Portland built the nation’s first modern-day streetcar: the sleek and modern Portland Streetcar.