The e-scooter program in downtown Cedar Rapids has had its share of ups and downs. I've ridden them several times to get around the downtown area and found them to be fun, easy to use, and convenient when you don't want to take your vehicle on a short trip. But there have been some incidents, including one last summer when two boys were hit by a car while riding one of the scooters. They were just 8 and 12 years old. Well, the scooters are returning soon but with some big changes.

KCRG reports that the Cedar Rapids City Council voted to renew the city's contract with Veoride on Tuesday night. But a large part of the discussion on whether to bring back the e-scooter program centered around safety. Starting immediately, only riders who are 18 years of age and older will be allowed to ride the scooters. Jennifer Pratt, Community Development Director for Cedar Rapids told KCRG that the ages of riders will be verified by requiring them to scan a government ID to set up their account. New users will also have to go through a riding tutorial.

Another big complaint about the scooter program was people riding on sidewalks. Pratt told KCRG that issue is being addressed too. She stated that if someone begins to ride on the sidewalk, the scooter will feature a voice activation telling them to get off and return to the street. So when will the e-scooters return to downtown Cedar Rapids? City officials say they will be launching "soon".

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