Bird Electronic Scooters Arrive in City of Big Rapids
Since 2017, Bird electronic scooters have made transportation easy. Just download the app, scan the QR code on the scooter, and you’re ready to hit the road.
“It’s a great way just to get around town,” said Big Rapids City Commissioner Jonathan Eppley.
Bird scooters approached the Big Rapids City Commissioners about bringing their company to the city.
“They gave a presentation about what it is they’re all about, like helping people reach that last mile of transportation or helping to reduce congestion and carbon emissions through riding these scooters as opposed to driving a car through town,” said Eppley. “I think it’s a great way to help supplement our Dial-A-Ride transit system to help get people where they need to go.”
And with Commissioners’ approval, 75 scooters made their way to the city the week of April 26.
“There’s a caretaker who collects them at night to charge them up and places them in certain spots all around town,” said Eppley. “They just kind of sit there until someone comes along, opens the app on their phone, logs on, and reserves a bike.”
The Big Rapids Department of Public Safety said riders have to look at riding a Bird scooter, like riding a bike or electric skateboard.
“We have a city ordinance that you can’t ride skateboards on the sidewalks downtown, and it goes for the same with scooters,” said Officer William Sell, Community Relations Officer. “If they’re in the roadway, stay as far to the right as they can. Don’t pass vehicles if there’s two lanes of traffic, and don’t go in between vehicles.”
With the arrival of the scooters, some people have brought up some of their concerns.
“We did have one resident bring up concerns about the scooters just being left wherever,” said Eppley. “But through the app, they require you to take a picture of the scooter when you’re done with it and make sure it’s standing upright and not laying down on the ground and not blocking the sidewalk.”
Both Eppley and Officer Sell recommend getting a helmet before riding on the scooter.
“A lot of people haven’t ridden a scooter before, or haven’t ridden one for many years,” said Officer Sell. “Just take your time, they go pretty quick, so you want to take your time when you’re doing it.”