The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) spent a total of $287,282 on a 2018 shared dockless e-scooter pilot program, with $212,077 of the costs recovered by program and permit fees.

The program, which enabled the city's government to work constructively with scooter providers, had almost its entire operating budget balanced by the agreed-upon fare structure.

Made Public Date

Summary Information

E-scooters emerged in 2017 as a new shared mobility service in the United States. Portland’s pilot began July 23, 2018 and ended November 20, 2018.

Five companies applied for permits, and three were permitted: Bird Rides Inc., Lime, and Skip Transport Inc. All three companies were operating e-scooters on Portland streets by early August. Each company started with 100 scooters to introduce Portlanders to the new technology and increased the number of e-scooters to their full permitted fleet quota by August 15. From August 15 through the end of the pilot, each company was permitted to have 683 scooters available for rent each day, for a total of 2,043 permitted scooters. The fee structure in the Shared Electric Scooter Permit included:

  • Permit Application Fee: $250
  • Pilot Permit Fee: $5,000
  • Per-Trip Surcharge: $0.25

Together, these permit and ride fees covered about 75 percent of project startup and program administration costs for the e-scooter pilot, as well as educational materials and public outreach. Costs and revenues for each phase of the pilot program are provided in the table below.

Permit & Fees (Revenue)
Pre-Pilot Phase
Program Design: $48,995

Subtotal: $48,995
Pilot Phase
Application and permit fees: $15,500

Per trip surcharge: $187,577

Fines and penalties: $9,000

Subtotal: $212,077
Program Administration and outreach: $155,415

Educational Materials: $11,455

Subtotal: $166,870
Post-Pilot Phase
Program Evaluation: $71,417

Subtotal: $71,417
System Cost

$287,282 to operate a dockless e-scooter pilot program with three companies.