CLEVELAND — The lakefront is about to have yet another transportation option.
City of Cleveland officials announced Tuesday they have approved a permit for "Wheels," a Southern California-based company that allows residents the ability to rent out motorized bikes for personal use. They are the fifth vendor to be welcomed under Cleveland's six-month "Shared Mobility" pilot program for such vehicles.
The bikes, which do not have pedals, are expected to be available in the city next month. They will be limited to 20 miles per hour and can only be rented out for 24 hours at a time.
Said Cleveland COO Darnell Brown:
"The Wheels device adds diversity to Cleveland's shared mobility options, and the sit-down model may expand access for those who are not able to ride a stand-up scooter. We look forward to monitoring use data and receiving public feedback about experiences with Wheels, as well as other permitted vendors, to inform future regulations."
Motorized rental transportation first came to Cleveland in August of 2018 with Bird scooters, but were quickly shut down by the city due to safety concerns. However, City Council later passed a law allowing for a pilot program and increased regulations, and Bird returned to downtown last month.
"The goal of legislation regulating this new industry is to ensure that there are rules and a process for shared mobility devices operating in the City of Cleveland," Mayor Frank G. Jackson said. "Sensible regulation aims to make this mode of transportation safer and more efficient for all sharing the road."
Spin stand-up scooters are also available in Cleveland, and Bird e-bikes VeoRide stand-ups are expected to join with Wheels later on.