Hoboken e-scooter program kicks off with a few kinks

Hoboken became the first city in New Jersey to launch an electronic scooter program, just one week after it was made legal in the state – but there is already some controversy surrounding the program.
The scooters are operated by the company Lime. The company and Hoboken officials say that there were over 2,500 rides issued on Monday, the first day of the program. Many who tried the scooters said that they were a quick and efficient way to get around Hoboken.
But not everyone was thrilled that the program launched. Hoboken Councilman Mike DeFusco supported bringing the Lime scooters to the city, but says that the program needed to be flushed out further.
“What I saw yesterday was absolute chaos,” he says. “Sometimes being the first is great. But in this situation being the first also means that we have to deal with all of the issues that have been unforeseen and even the issues that the council had predicted.
DeFusco says that there should have been more education and preparation for the public.
Hoboken officials say that the police department received hundreds of complaints throughout Monday and Tuesday morning.
“The largest complaint was them riding on the sidewalks. The people not knowing the laws,” says Police Chief Ken Ferrante.
Ferrante says that he wished that the police department had more time to prepare how to enforce scooter violations.
“There was a municipal ordinance passed on these in the city of Hoboken. But we still need statute numbers and penalties…We don’t believe in issuing summonses on Day 1. That is not something that’s going to be great for police-community relations. It’s about trying to educate,” he says.
Hoboken residents who use the Lime scooters should know that they cannot be driven on sidewalks – bicycle lanes only – and riders must obey all traffic laws.
City and Lime officials are expected to hold some information meetings in Hoboken over the next few weeks.