Electric scooter rentals roll out in downtown Montgomery

Beginning this weekend, visitors can access the e-scooters by simply downloading the Bird mobile app
Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 7:07 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Looking for a fun new way to get around downtown Montgomery? Electric scooters have just rolled onto the streets.

The city partnered with e-scooter ride-share company Bird for the new environmentally friendly transportation option. The first flock of 80 scooters arrived this week, and another 80 will be in the city soon.

“It’s very important to have a robust set of options that people can use to get around,” said Montgomery Planning Director Robert Smith. “It’s needed because you have to have multiple transportation options to get around. Not just by automobile, but by public transit, by bicycle, and now by e-scooter.”

You will need to download the Bird mobile app on your smartphone to ride the scooters. In addition, a QR code located on the scooter will need to be scanned in order to activate it.

Riding the scooters costs $1 to unlock them, and an additional 42 cents per minute that you have the scooter unlocked, whether you are riding or not.

Visitors and residents can find the scooters at 170 locations across the downtown area.

“If you open up the app, the app has an option where you can actually look at the map and see where they are,” Smith said.

Officials urge riders never to drop scooters in the middle of sidewalks or streets, which would cause hazards for pedestrians and others. When you are finished riding, scooters must be parked at one of the 170 designated nesting locations.

Scooters can be ridden 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and can go up to 15 miles per hour. You must be at least 18 years old to ride. The city does not want unaccompanied children on the scooters.

Officials urge the community to have fun but be safe!

“The preference is that if you are going to ride, to ride with a helmet, and we ask people that drive automobiles to be on the lookout for scooters,” Smith said.

Montgomery City Councilwoman Marche Johnson led the initiative to get the scooters in Montgomery. She said this is another creative way for people to get around the historic downtown area.

“This will connect the entire community to downtown,” Johnson said. “Someone that may not be able to afford the bus or don’t have time for that bus route, they can jump on a Bird.”

A local full-time fleet manager will collect, charge, and replace the scooters daily. The local fleet manager will also be notified about scooter problems and respond promptly to fix them.

If you don’t have the Bird app, you can add a cash balance to your bird account across a network of participating retail locations. Montgomery is in the process of getting this feature up and running.

Senior citizens, US veterans, individuals participating in a state or federal assistance program, and other qualifying community members can qualify for 50% off Bird Rides.

The Montgomery City Council and Mayor Steven Reed passed an ordinance in June 2022 that approved the e-scooter initiative.

Depending on how successful they are, Robert said there could be as many as 500 scooters across Montgomery soon.

Not reading this story on the WSFA News App? Get news alerts FASTER and FREE in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store!