HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — LINK scooters were spotted traveling on Interstate-84 in Hartford last week. Now, changes have been made to ensure this never happens again.
A TikTok video showing several people riding scooters onto the highway has been shared widely on social media.
“Fortunately, the technology is available to cut it off very quickly and that’s what’s already been done,” Mayor Luke Bronin told News 8 Tuesday.
Mayor Bronin explained these scooters have an internal GPS system that enforces both slow-zones and no-ride zones by either automatically slowing the scooter or stopping it completely.
“In our parks, they’re automatically slow zones,” explained Mayor Bronin. “If you get near water, it automatically stops.”
It’s now impossible to ride these scooters onto the highway.
“The LINK scooter team has never seen anyone ride these on a highway ramp or a highway before,” said Mayor Bronin. “They didn’t include that geo-fence, but as soon as this happened, they quickly added it and made sure they can’t go there anymore.”
Both the mayor and Hartford Police are urging everyone to be careful and to ride the scooters responsibly.
Superpedestrian, the company behind LINK scooters, told News 8 that they take street safety seriously.
“Last week, when we first heard about scooter users riding on a highway in downtown Hartford, we took swift action. We take street safety extremely seriously – both for riders and all other community members, and we don’t want a single incident to sour the incredible experience we’ve had serving the city of Hartford. Luckily, our tech gives our team and the city the tools to respond to incidents like these quickly:
1. We’ve added new geofence protections that will automatically prevent riders from trying to enter a highway in downtown Hartford.
2. We’re in the process of identifying the riders in this video to deactivate their accounts.
3. We will continue to facilitate and host community safety demonstrations throughout the summer.Paul Steely White, Director of Development and Public Affairs, Superpedestrian
The launch of e-scooters in Hartford has been a resounding success. Anytime we see an issue, we’ll take direct action to keep that success going.”
You must be 18 or older to ride and follow the same rules of the road as bicycles. Those rules include riding with traffic, yielding to pedestrians, and only having one person per scooter.
The scooters have been very popular in Hartford, with more than 40,000 rides since the launch. It’s $1 to unlock the device and $0.35 per minute of riding time. Some riders are eligible for reduced fares and can apply for LINK-Up.