Saginaw approves agreement with Bird Rides for electric scooter sharing system Leave a comment

SAGINAW, MI – Rentable electric scooters will soon be coming to Saginaw as an alternative form of transportation.

During a virtual meeting on Monday, April 12, the Saginaw City Council approved a memorandum of agreement with Bird Rides, Inc. to deploy an electric scooter business in the city.

“This is super cool because cities bigger than us have it and it’s just an awesome thing that we’re going to bring to the city of Saginaw,” said council member Autumn Scherzer.

Saginaw is joining Midland in inviting Bird Rides into the city to operate the scooter-sharing setup. The Midland Daily News reported that the Midland City Council took action in February to allow Bird to operate a fleet of about 100 stand-up electric scooters in the city as well. Midland later announced that the first batch of scooters arrived the first week of April.

According to the agenda item from Monday’s meeting, Bird requested to deploy a stand-up electric scooter sharing system within the city. City staff and the city attorney developed a memorandum of agreement outlining the list of obligations and restrictions in response.

The initial proposal is for 100 scooters to be deployed, with 40 – 60 units being operational at one time, according to the agenda item. Riders can locate the closest Bird scooter on a map through a mobile application, unlock it, complete the safety tutorial and ride directly to their desired destination, said the city. The initial cost to ride is $1 to start then a per-minute fee is billed.

Bird subcontracts with local vendors to monitor, maintain and continually stage the scooters and the company’s geo-fencing technology restricts the scooters’ movement and range with no-ride no-parking, and reduced-speed zones, according to the agenda item.

City staff will work with the company to identify specific areas of the city in which the scooters will initially operate. The areas for the scooters to operate in will likely be limited to downtown and Old Town Saginaw, said the agenda item.

Stand-up electric scooters are governed by portions of the Michigan Vehicle Code applicable to electric skateboards, and other federal, state, and local laws and regulations, according to the city.

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