BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — Battle Creek is welcoming a new way to travel the city: shared electric scooters from Bird.
About 40 scooters arrived in Battle Creek at the end of May, at no cost to the city, ready to transport individuals, according to a news release Friday.
Operations will generally be north of Columbia Avenue.
Residents and guests may download the Bird smart phone app to create an account and ride the scooters, paying per minute for their rides.
Only part of the fleet will be out at one time so others can be charged and maintained.
About 25 are available now around the city.
The City Commission approved in May an ordinance to regulate electric scooters and companies that provided them after Bird requested the city allow its shared scooter program.
Bird’s goals include helping reduce carbon emissions and traffic congestion, as well as providing a safe alternative to car transportation.
“We welcome the opportunity to add Bird’s scooters to the city,” Assistant City Manager Ted Dearing said. “Transportation options are a continued need in our community, and we hope to see this one bring benefit to the city and its neighbors.”
Riders may use electric scooters on city streets, in bike lanes and on bike paths – including the Linear Park path – and on the sidewalk, but only downtown.
Speeds reach up to 15 miles per hour. Maximum speeds allowed in Battle Creek are 10 miles per hour downtown and 15 miles per hour on the Linear Park path.
By ordinance, electric scooters generally can travel 20 miles per hour on city streets.
Riders are required to park scooters out of the way of pedestrians, vehicle traffic and driveways.
They also need to be at least 18 years old, follow all standard road rules and are encouraged to wear helmets.