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Minneapolis temporarily suspends all electric scooters ahead of Trump rally

Minneapolis temporarily suspends all electric scooters ahead of Trump rally


The city is banishing electric two-wheelers from its streets before the president gets to town

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President Donald J. Trump...
Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Scooter startups are being temporarily banished from the streets of Minneapolis, Minnesota, ahead of a rally tonight by President Donald Trump.

The city’s Department of Public Works sent a notice to scooter companies on Thursday about the temporary ban:

Please be advised that the City of Minneapolis is planning for a major event scheduled for Thursday, October 10, 2019. In order to protect and promote public safety and welfare, the Minneapolis Police Department has issued a request to temporarily suspend all scooter rental operations from the City’s right of way during the date of the event. Pursuant to Article IV, Section 4 and Article III, Section 1(c) of your License Agreement, all scooters in your local fleet must be removed from the City’s right of way no later than 9:00 p.m. (CDT) on Wednesday, October 9th.. Thereafter, scooters may not be distributed to, or made available for rental from any City right of way on October 10, 2019.  Scooter rental operations may resume under normal License Agreement terms beginning on October 11th.

Scooter companies are already complying with the order. A screenshot of Lime’s app posted to Reddit features a message that reads: “Due to a visit from the President of the United States, Lime will be temporarily offline until 10/11.” In addition to Lime, the city has three other authorized scooter operators: Jump (née Uber), Spin, and Lyft. The city has around 2,000 scooters currently in service under the provisions of a pilot program. (Despite being selected, Jump chose not to participate in Minneapolis’ pilot program.)

Meanwhile, Trump has been feuding with the mayor of Minneapolis over costs associated with the rally and security. The Star Tribune reported that road closures and traffic are expected as a result of the president’s appearance. According to the city’s police chief, pedestrian and vehicle traffic will be significantly reduced around the Target Center where Trump will hold his rally.

Scooter companies have proactively taken their vehicles out of service in other cities, mostly in reaction to extreme weather and flooding.

Updated October 10th, 3:58PM ET: Added details about Jump’s lack of scooters in the city.