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DOT: Eastern Queens E-Scooter Expansion Will Launch Next Year

The expansion follows a similar, hugely successful rollout in the Bronx, where riders have taken nearly 3 million trips since 2021.

4:14 PM EDT on October 13, 2023

File photo: Gersh Kuntzman|

Scooters have proven very popular in the Bronx.

They’re ready to get rolling. 

The city kicked off its expansion of the e-scooter sharing program into eastern Queens with the start of public outreach on Friday, a process that will invite residents of the borough to provide suggestions ahead of deployment next year in the rectangle roughly bounded by Flushing, the Van Wyck Expressway Springfield Gardens and Hollis Hills (see map).

Map: DOT

The expansion follows a similar, hugely successful rollout in the Bronx, where riders have taken nearly 3 million trips since 2021, according to the Department of Transportation, which also touted the program's safety, announcing that in the first year of its operation, there were zero fatalities and very few serious injuries.

"Shared e-scooter service can play an important role in providing sustainable options to connect eastern Queens commuters to transit hubs, commercial corridors, and other neighborhood destinations,” DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez said in a statement that provided a portal for public feedback. “In the Bronx, our e-scooter share program has been widely popular, with a strong safety and ridership record, and we look forward to learning more from Queens residents about how these services can make their commutes faster and more convenient.”

Scooter from Bird, Lime and Veo — which are currently operating in the Bronx — will also be available for short rentals in many transit-deprived neighborhoods of eastern Queen starting next year. Advocates are cheering the expansion, but they urge the city to build out the necessary safety infrastructure to go along with it. 

“To meet New York City's climate goals and get people out of cars, we need to expand sustainable transportation options," said Elizabeth Adams, deputy executive director of public affairs at Transportation Alternatives. "This program will connect New Yorkers to transit, school, work, and appointments. We look forward to working with the city to build out safe protected infrastructure to pair with this program."

Throughout the next few months, DOT will conduct on-street engagement in addition to holding meetings with local community boards and other stakeholders, with an expected launch date in the second of next year. Queens Borough President Donovan Richards says the program will give residents with limited transit options access to another safe and easy way of getting around. 

“I am especially pleased that the expansion ... will focus on traditionally underserved communities. With so much of Queens existing within a transit desert, we need to be creative and proactive in finding ways to make it easier to get around,” said Richards.

And the chair of the Council's Transportation and Infrastructure Committee agreed.

"E-scooters have the potential to provide equitable and environmentally-friendly transportation alternatives, particularly in our outer borough transit deserts,” said Council Member Selvena Brooks-Powers, who also represents neighborhoods in eastern Queens, including Arverne, Far Rockaway, Laurelton, and Springfield Gardens.

Members of the public can now provide feedback on the new online portal here:

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