FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
E-scooter rental company, Bird, plans to make electric scooter, or “E-scooter,” rentals available in Springfield beginning Thursday, Sept. 1.
Bird is an electric vehicle company “dedicated to bringing affordable, environmentally friendly transportation solutions such as e-scooters and e-bikes to communities across the world.” Founded in 2017, Bird now has fleets of shared vehicles in more than 400 cities around the globe.
Bird is permitted by the City of Springfield to place 20 e-scooters in designated deployment areas in Springfield’s downtown and Commercial Street business districts. The company also plans to deploy 30 e-scooters on Missouri State University campus through a contract with MSU.
E-scooters will initially be limited to a specific area in the Downtown and Commercial Street area using geofencing technology. Once a device is taken outside the geofenced area, devices are programmed to shut off and will no longer operate. This area will be adjusted as needed. Working with Bird to establish geofencing will be an essential tool to help manage E-Scooter usage around the City.
“Over the past year or so, City staff have been carefully preparing for the arrival of e-scooter companies in Springfield,” says Grady Porter, engineer for Public Works Traffic Engineering division. “We worked alongside several interested companies and also conducted our own research into the benefits and potential drawbacks e-scooters offer. We believe we now have new municipal code in place that will help support micromobility companies while also avoiding some of the issues other communities have experienced.”
Through updated City code Springfield’s Downtown and Commercial Street business districts were defined with specific operating regulations for micro-mobility devices. In these districts, e-scooters will be required to park in one of 23 designated scooter parking areas marked with green striping and a pavement decal stating “Scooter Parking Only.” E-scooters in these districts are also prohibited from being ridden on sidewalks.
Scooter rental companies are also required to maintain the devices and collect them if left in places where they may endanger the traveling public. Each scooter will have contact information posted on the stem of the device that includes a phone number to contact the company directly with any concerns. Bird is currently the only scooter company licensed to rent or deploy on City right-of-way. The company can be contacted with questions or concerns at 1-866-205-2442 or [email protected].
“We are excited to welcome Bird to Springfield and look forward to working with them and Missouri State University to provide a positive and safe experience for riders and citizens,” says Porter.
“We applaud the City of Springfield for their commitment to offering convenient, environmentally friendly and reliable transportation options to residents and visitors,” says Austin Marshburn, Head of City and University Partnerships at Bird.
Safety tips for e-scooter riders:
All operators of e-scooters are advised to follow all rules and regulations that are enforceable by law in the City of Springfield, including:
- Every person operating an E-Scooter on City streets shall wear protective headgear (helmet).
- A valid driver’s license is required to operate an e-scooter.
- E-Scooter operators must yield the right of way to pedestrians and shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing a pedestrian.
- E-Scooters will be limited to 15 mph in all areas and 10 mph on greenway trails using geofence technology, however operators will be responsible to limit their speeds on sidewalks, where allowed, to be no greater than 5 mph.
- E-scooters are not allowed to operate on roadways that have a speed limit greater than 30 mph.
- E-Scooter companies are required to stop rentals at 10 p.m. each night. If the rental occurs before 10 p.m. the rental will not be terminated until the ride has ended.
- For areas outside the Downtown and Commercial Street Business districts, no person shall park a micromobility device on a street other than on the roadway against the curb, on the sidewalk in a rack, dock, or storage area, or against a building or at the curb in such manner as to afford the least obstruction to pedestrian traffic.
For more information, visit springfieldmo.gov/escooters.
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For more information contact Communication Coordinator Kristen Milam at 573-819-3713 or [email protected].