There is a new link across downtown Hartford - the Link scooters that rolled out a month ago. As Ridership is skyrocketing and really showing the demand for bike and scooter sharing programs in the region.
In a matter of seconds, Paul Pumales is not only connected to his Link scooter but quickly on his way to his next stop.
“Most the time I take it for grabbing a quick snack, going to McDonald’s and coming back over here to the park we eat it,” Pumales said.
Paul’s scooter is one of 150 Link scooters getting the miles in their first month in the city of Hartford.
“What they’ve told us is since it opened April 22 through Friday, we are getting on average more rides per scooter than they have in their other markets,” Sandy Fry, bicycle and pedestrian coordinator for the City of Hartford said.
Fry said the scooters have seen so much success, they just expanded beyond downtown to all of Hartford. One goal for the scooters is to help bus and train riders make it to and from and first and last mile of their travel.
“When they get to their bus stop they might not be quite where they need to go and the bike really helps people make that last little bit,” Fry said.
Mayor Luke Bronin said the scooters are a result of the Capitol Region Council of Governments working to create a regional bike share program, one he hopes to see grow beyond city lines.
“We ended up launching it here in Hartford but we’d love to see it expand beyond. It was always meant to be a regional effort, we’d love to see it grow into a regional effort,” Bronin said.
Fry said experimental programs like the short-lived Lime bikes in 2018 helped lay the groundwork for bike and scooter sharing in the Capitol City and she hopes ot see it take off even more.
“The people of Hartford are showing us that yeah this does belong this works for us, we’ll have to take care of the little issues that have cropped up but it seems like an important part of our transportation,” Fry said.
Fry said some of the scooter share’s speedbumps include some riders not slowing down for pedestrians on sidewalks. The city is now working with the company to create designated parking spots for the scooters as well.