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Electric scooter rentals could come to Appleton

Published: Mar. 24, 2021 at 7:43 PM CDT
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APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - The possibility of renting an electric scooter for a ride in Appleton, might soon be a reality.

A proposal is now before the city council, generating some excitement.

On College Avenue there could soon be a new mode of transportation as the city considers a proposal for a pilot program with Bird Rides, INC, that would deploy 100 scooters, people would be able to rent.

Appleton Public Works Director Paula Vandehey said, “It’s a dockless, electronic scooter. There’s a lot of excitement, but also a lot of apprehension so that’s why we want to go with the pilot this year.”

Bird is an app based, scooter ride share program, based out of Santa Monica, California.

According to their website, customers can use the app to locate the nearest scooter, pay for it by the minute and then drop it off at a destination point.

Vandehey said, “They hire people within the community to manage the program and those folks would be responsible for keeping the scooters charged and redistribute them throughout the community.”

The scooter can go up to 15 miles an hour.

While the company encourages them, to be used on the road, and in bike lanes, Alderman Joe Martin says, they don’t belong on sidewalks.

“I love it, I will support it, but I will support it with certain regulations that other communities have done, and done it well,” added Martin.

Right now, Bird is in a number of cities, but Milwaukee is on only other one in Wisconsin.

The city council is expected to vote on the proposal April 7th.

If it passes, the scooters could arrive by late spring.

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