Company rents electric scooters in St. Joseph

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St. Joseph City Commissioners have given their approval to a California company to rent electric scooters in the community. Bird Rides, Incorporated will soon begin renting the motorized vehicles in Benton Harbor, and with permission in St. Joseph, people can also take them on short trips around St. Joe for a fee. Commissioners were told on Monday how the service works.

“Individuals download an application onto their mobile device and go through a safety tutorial when creating an account, teaching them about safe driving and parking etiquette. They can then see any of our devices across the community or use the map feature in the app, scan it to unlock it, take it to where they need to go, typically around ten minutes away, and scan it to plan their ride break up. ”

Each scooter is equipped with a GPS device that allows the company to control where it can and cannot go and at what speed. The St. Joseph scooters will be limited to 15 miles per hour, which is about what a cyclist would ride. Bird Rides will work with two local providers who will oversee and maintain the scooters. Their speed and functionality will be reduced if someone attempts to take them across any of the bridges between Benton Harbor and St. Joseph, preventing them from being driven on the bridge itself. The plan is to start with around 20 scooters in St. Joseph and expand as needed.

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