Company bringing electric scooters to Albert Lea in coming days

Published 7:49 pm Thursday, May 13, 2021

The city of Albert Lea announced Thursday electric scooter company Bird Rides will bring e-scooters to the city in the coming days. The scooters are available through a mobile phone application and riders pay to use the scooter per minute, at no cost to the city, a press release stated.

The company plans on offering scooters to residents and visitors to help reduce carbon emissions, as well as traffic congestion on roadways. The scooters also provide a safe way to get around during the pandemic and offer residents without automobiles another transportation option.

The electric scooters should be used on roads and in bike lanes and have a maximum speed of 15 mph.  Scooters must be parked out of the way of pedestrians, never blocking driveways or ADA accessibility.

Riders are required to be 18 years-old and above to access the scooters. They are also encouraged to wear a helmet on every ride and required to obey all standard rules of the road.

Bird offers the following programs that are available for all who qualify:

• Community pricing: Bird’s community pricing program offers a 50% discount to low-income riders, Pell grant recipients, select local nonprofit and community organizations, veterans and senior citizens. To sign up for the community pricing program, people should download the Bird app, create an account and email your proof of eligibility to access@bird.co.

• Free rides for health care workers and emergency personnel: Bird is offering free rides to health care workers and emergency personnel. To sign up, these workers can email a copy of their medical identification card along with their name and phone number to together@bird.co. Eligible riders will receive two free 30-minute rides per day for as long as it takes to help the communities to recover from this global health crisis.

If a resident has questions or concerns about the e-scooters, the company can be reached directly at 1-866-205-2442 or hello@bird.co.

More information about the company can be found on their website (www.bird.co) and on their blog (www.bird.co/blog).

There are functions on Bird’s app that allow community members to report abuses and problems with the scooters. To reduce loss of reporting data and remain efficient, all reports should go directly to Bird regarding general issues and complaints. Most complaints given to City staff will be transferred to Bird in the same manner available to residents and visitors.