Surprise Wants To Hear Your Electric Scooter, Bike Opinions

By Christina Estes
Published: Monday, November 11, 2019 - 8:24am
Updated: Tuesday, November 12, 2019 - 12:59pm

Bird scooter
Sky Schaudt/KJZZ
Scooters parked at a bus stop in Tempe in June 2018.

On Nov. 1, 2019, Surprise launched a pilot program for electronic scooters and bikes. But so far no vendor has set up shop.

That could change before the end of the year if Surprise can work out licensing issues with two residents who want to rent scooters around the city center and Ottawa University.

On Oct. 1, 2019, the council approved a pilot program for shared active transportation vehicles (SATV) — that includes electric scooters and bikes and other mobile vehicles, but not motorized vehicles.

Surprise launched an online survey to gauge public interest and get feedback. Residents and visitors are encouraged to take the survey multiple times to share experiences and opinions during the six month pilot program which ends April 28, 2020.

Surprise will use survey results to evaluate the program and decide what changes to make should the council want to make shared active transportation vehicles a permanent option.

City Summary Of SATV Ordinance

Deployment areas and parking rules: 

  • SATVs will be permitted in entertainment, densely populated areas within the city of Surprise. A geographical scope (geo-fencing) will be defined to a common recreation area, generally defined as the Surprise Recreation Complex to Grand Avenue. 
  • Deployment of SATVs will be prohibited in city/community parks, in front of residences, on sidewalks, in front of or on fire hydrants, and parking spaces reserved for motor vehicles.
  • SATVs cannot block access to bicycle racks or entryways of commercial establishments.
  • SATVs must be deployed upright, in groups of no more than five, with a required 300 feet spacing in-between each deployment group.


  • A maximum capacity of 100 SATVs total cannot be exceeded by all vendors.

Time of use restrictions:

  • Hours of operation are 5 a.m.–10 p.m.
  • Vendors are required to pick up their SATV fleet every night.

Safety provisions and rider operation:

  • Only one rider permitted per SATV.
  • Riders must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Speed limits for SATVs shall not exceed 20 mph for e-bicycles and 12 mph for e-scooters.
  • SATVs must be outfitted with reflectors and lights.
  • SATVs must be ridden on the street or in bike lanes.
  • SATVs cannot be ridden when utilizing a cross walk.
  • SATV riders must yield to pedestrians and pass on the left.


  • Vendors are required to obtain a permit from the city to establish operations with Surprise.

To report violations and misuse, please contact Code Enforcement at 623-222-1900.

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