Those electric scooters Tampa was supposed to be dodging by February are going to have to wait.
The program was set to launch sometime after Gasparilla, putting roughly 1,800 dockless scooters throughout downtown with 600 more of them spread between East Columbus Drive and Martin Luther King Boulevard. But now the city is tossing out bids from that request for proposal and reissuing the request for applications to modify the indemnification language in the application.
That’s according to Tampa’s transportation and stormwater services department director, Jean Duncan, who told the Tampa Bay Business Journal the new deadline has changed to Feb. 11.
Several companies — including Bird Rides. Inc., Coast Bike Share, JUMP and Gotcha Mobility LLC — already responded to the city's initial request for proposal, which had a Nov. 9 deadline. Duncan added that Tampa officials will provide the recommended three vendors for city council approval at a March 21 council meeting.
She expects the one-year pilot project to get underway by April 1.
And what about St. Petersburg? Does Mayor Rick Kriseman want the scooters on his streets, too?
He’s already met with Lime scooter company, and the TBBJ reported that Kriseman met with San Francisco scooter company Spin this week. However, St. Pete communication director Ben Kirby is still pumping the brakes.
"We want to see how it unfolds in Tampa first," Kirby said.