PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland’s four-month e-scooter pilot program is officially over – despite the companies’ pleas to stay. 

E-scooter companies Bird, Lime, and Skip, which participated in the pilot, asked the city to reconsider the pilot’s end date and allow them to continue operating indefinitely. Portland Bureau of Transportation was unconvinced. 

“There’s a lot more we have to learn about e-scooter technology and e-scooter use on our streets before we’d be ready to suggest a permanent program for e-scooters in Portland,” PBOT spokesperson Dylan Rivera said Wednesday. 

A woman on a Skip scooter in Portland, August 2018 (KOIN)

In addition to touting users’ enthusiasm for the new transportation mode, the companies also stressed the impact on the local economy. Lime Oregon general manager Jeremy Nelson said the company had hired 29 full-time employees. In a letter Bird sent to city commissioner Chloe Eudaly on November 2, Bird government partnerships senior manager Marlo Sandler wrote that the company had paid nearly 700 Portlanders to charge Bird e-scooters and had hired 10 to 15 mechanics. 

Rivera said the number of jobs wasn’t significant enough to sway the bureau. 

“At this point the industry has produced a minimal number of jobs here, and we’re confident that with the millions of dollars in venture capital these companies have raised, they can take care of their employees in a responsible way,” Rivera said. 

Men riding scooters along the South Waterfront in downtown Portland, July 30, 2018 (KOIN)

Rivera said the city will be looking to publish its analysis of the e-scooter data collected during the first pilot early in 2019. Then, he said the city will consider holding a second pilot sometime before June. 

Rivera said the city is open to considering having more scooter companies participate in the second pilot and is also open to allowing more scooters deployed per company. Some of the companies had asked PBOT to lift the cap on the number of scooters allowed during the first pilot. 

Many of the escooters in Portland are not made to use in the rain. (KOIN)