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As a new strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) swept through the world in 2020, preparedness plans, masking policies and more public policy changed just as quickly. WVXU has covered the pandemic's impact on the Tri-State from the very beginning, when on March 3, 2020, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine barred spectators from attending the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus over concerns about the virus, even though Ohio had yet to confirm a single case of COVID-19.

Cincinnati Wants Better Rider 'Dos And Don'ts' From e-Scooter Companies

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Bill Rinehart
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WVXU
A Bird and a Lime scooter sit on a Downtown sidewalk, July 2019.

E-scooters are off Cincinnati streets for now because of the pandemic. But the city is working on contracts with two operators for when stay-at-home restrictions are lifted.

A memo from the city manager to council says Bird and Lime submitted the best proposals for providing service. They had been running under interim agreements, which expire June 30.

The city will be asking the companies to do a better job of monitoring scooter use, and to educate riders on parking and riding rules. "We have learned that a prerequisite for safe ridership and safe parking is ensuring that scooter riders are informed about the 'dos and don'ts' of scooter riding," the memo says. "Moving forward, both riders and vendors will bear the major responsibility for ensuring compliance with safe riding and parking requirements."

The memo says the city is looking for ways to limit its costs associated with the scooters.

"Compliance measures will include technological controls to monitor user conformity with rental agreement operational provisions, public reporting of bad behavior, directions to approved parking areas, geofencing of restricted riding and parking areas, photo-approved parking to obtain release of rental, and rental incentives and deterrents, including loss of rental rights," the memo says.

Cincinnati will also encourage Bird and Lime representatives to meet periodically with community councils.

Lime pulled its scooters from Cincinnati streets on March 17 because of the coronavirus. Bird followed suit the next day. It's not clear when scooters would return after local and state stay-at-home orders are lifted.

Rinehart has been a radio reporter since 1994 with positions in markets like Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska; Sioux City, Iowa; Dayton, Ohio; and most recently as senior correspondent and anchor for Cincinnati’s WLW-AM.