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This company wants to bring electric scooters back to Vegas

Updated April 5, 2024 - 7:00 pm

A San Francisco-based company wants to bring back two-wheeled electric scooters to the Las Vegas area, without filling the sidewalks.

Go X officials said they believe the company’s different business model will avoid the pitfalls of more common “dockless” scooter brands seen in other cities like Lime, Bird and Spin. Early popularity of the e-scooter-sharing app concept in the late 2010s led to a glut of the vehicles, sometimes scattered on city sidewalks, because they could be parked anywhere.

Instead, Go X partners with businesses that act as the pickup and drop-off locations. The company said it has partnered with more than 450 businesses nationwide, with fleets in other tourism hot spots such as Daytona Beach, Florida, New Orleans and Honolulu. In Las Vegas, about 10 pilot locations — some exotic vehicle rentals and small hotels — have been hosting a 100-scooter fleet since the start of the year. The company wants to partner with major Strip resorts and expand its fleet to 1,000 by the end of 2024.

“Cities like this approach because it helps local businesses, it doesn’t leave the scooters on the streets, and it’s really a transportation solution with private businesses,” CEO Alex Debelov said.

Debelov said the scooters will have geo-fencing technologies that prevent them from operating in certain areas, but they will be able to operate in most of downtown. If a rider is approaching the Fremont Street Experience — where micro-mobility vehicles aren’t welcome — the scooter and associated app will warn the rider, then stop. He said the same restrictions are in the works for the Strip and other high-traffic pedestrian areas.

Local officials haven’t been welcoming to other e-scooter brands. Local governments were given the authority to regulate scooter-share programs in June 2019. Since then, the city and county has not welcomed any drop-off scooter rental and only allow those that are made at a business location and returned.

Go X is applying for a business license at a partner business, Elite Motor Rentals, in downtown Las Vegas, city officials confirmed.

Riders must download the company’s smartphone app to rent. The electric scooters are $1 plus 0.88 cents per minute to ride, or $9.99 for every 35 minutes. Varying unlimited daily, weekly and monthly rates are also available.

Debelov said the customer could be a local commuter or a tourist who wants to see more of the city.

“People are very curious about the city as a whole, and there’s very few ways for them to experience doing that,” he said. “Scooters are an incredible way to do it because you can go to all the different places around Las Vegas and stop to explore and take pictures.”

McKenna Ross is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Contact her at mross@reviewjournal.com. Follow @mckenna_ross_ on X.

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