E-scooter popularity growing in Evansville

By The Associated Press

EVANSVILLE — The dockless e-scooter movement is flourishing in Evansville, according to the owner of a rapidly expanding Indiana electric scooter company in the Indiana city.

Rebecca Weaver, who owns WeDe e-scooters, told the Evansville Courier and Press Monday that she brought the first e-scooter station to the city's downtown area this month.

"It's gone really well, better than I expected," Weaver said. "I am growing as we speak. I just acquired 11 more. By the end of November, I'll have 62 under my name."

Weaver charges users $1 to unlock a scooter and 34 cents a minute to ride. People can rent e-scooters at stations scattered around downtown on the GOAT scooter rental smartphone app, which shows their locations.

Weaver, an Evansville native, said she wants to "expand all over, to any part of the city that's accessible," adding she's spoken to Ivy Tech, the University of Evansville, Burdette Park and other entities.

Given the popularity of e-scooters since they were permitted in Indianapolis and other cities last year, Weaver jumped at the opportunity to establish a business in Evansville.

"I noticed it in other cities, and I'd been looking for a business to dive into, so I wanted to be the first," Weaver said. "It was a no-brainer for me."

Ellen Horan, executive director of Growth Alliance for Greater Evansville, said her nonprofit group, representatives of Mayor Lloyd Winnecke's office, the Metropolitan Planning Organization and others will meet this week to discuss a city ordinance to regulate e-scooter use. It would explain licensing fees, insurance requirements and other rules, and would come into effect immediately.

"They will charge a permit fee, which is weird because they don't charge Uber or Lyft or any other transportation companies permit fees," Weaver said. "But I'll pay it and do my due diligence."

Weaver noted WeDe wants to increase its transportation offerings beyond e-scooters.

"In the near future, we'll have four e-scooters and two motor scooters at the same spot," she said.

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