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Rental scooters in Fort Worth? Don't bet on it anytime soon

As major Texas cities like Dallas and Austin embrace electric scooter rentals, Fort Worth has decided to stay far away from the zippy trend.

FORT WORTH--As major Texas cities like Dallas and Austin embrace electric scooter rentals, Fort Worth has decided to stay far away from the zippy trend.

Don't expect that to change anytime soon.

"They're just not that safe for the average person," Mayor Betsy Price said last week. "Not yet at least."

The city has been approached by a few potential operators, but so far they've been told it's a no go.

Price said a lot of issues that would need to be ironed out before scooter rides could even be considered.

"They couldn't operate on right-of-way and our trails don't allow motorized vehicles," she said. "Those are motorized vehicles."

City ordinances would need to be reworked allowing a legal path for dockless scooters to operate in such areas, which would likely take months.

A subcommittee of the city's Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Commission is studying the larger issue, but it'll be this fall or winter before they present any recommendations to the city council.

"We just don't know if there's the market for it," said Price. "We're a more conservative city, but still plenty innovative."

Some 30 miles to the east, Dallas unveiled a six-month trial program for electric scooters last month.

Concerns have been raised about safety and potential lawsuits that could arise from the rides, although city leaders have outlawed usage in some areas and there's a minimum age of 18.

Dallas also allows bike sharing that is dockless, something Fort Worth leaders firmly elected not to do when it set up its bike sharing program.

Concerns about where scooters could end up once a rider was done are another potential pitfall.

"They show up in your right of way, they show up in the middle of your trails, they show up on your sidewalks," said Price.

Dean Del Rio, a senior at TCU, said he felt the shared bike program was a better option, although he'd be tempted to try a scooter.

"I think people would want to try it once," he said. "But the bikes are safer and a workout. It's harder to ride a bike and text than to ride a scooter and text."

Most of the scooters top out around 15 miles per hour.

A week ago, former Cowboys great Troy Aikman unleashed his thoughts on the concept in a Tweet that quickly went viral.