A state Senate committee will study the electric scooters that have flooded Atlanta streets and begun trickling up to Sandy Springs and Brookhaven. A legislator that represents part of Sandy Springs will be one of the members.
The controversial rentable scooters have been touted as increasing transportation options, but criticized for creating public safety concerns. The committee will research the scooters and recommend legislation if is any is found to be needed.
Sen. John Albers (R-Roswell), whose district covers part of Sandy Springs, was chosen to serve on the committee.
“I am a fan of innovation and transportation options,” Albers said in an email. “We need to balance public safety and local control to assure a win-win solution for everyone. I look forward to serving on the committee.”
Sen. Brandon Beach (R-Alpharetta), who is well known for his work on transportation and is running for the 6th Congressional District seat, will also be one of the members.
The committee will be chaired by Sen. Steve Gooch (R-Dahlonega). The other members are Sen. Frank Ginn (R-Danielsville) and Sen. Butch Miller (R-Gainesville), according to the release.
The committee was created by Senate Resolution 479, which was passed in April during the last legislative session.
The legislation said that the scooters can create last-mile connectivity, reduce congestion, provide a clean alternative and encourage economic development and tourism. But “review and study is needed to determine how local governments, state agencies and universities can work with companies providing these and other innovative mobility technologies,” the resolution said.
The committee will create a report with findings and any recommendations for proposed legislation before Dec. 1.
According to the legislation, over 1 million rides had been taken in Georgia in the last 12 months.
Scooters are a new technology cities across the country are grappling with. In the metro area, Smyrna and Marietta have banned the scooters.
After having scooters block sidewalks and in anticipation of more coming, Brookhaven passed an ordinance in March that includes requiring companies obtain permits to place scooters in the city limits as well as limiting each company to 50 scooters each.
Brookhaven’s ordinance followed the Atlanta City Council’s passage of its own scooter restrictions that also includes a permit system and fees. Dunwoody and Sandy Springs have not proposed any regulations on the scooters.
This article has been updated with comment from Sen. John Albers.