Birds of a feather: Scooters could return to Vicksburg

Published 5:11 pm Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Vicksburg residents could again see scooters rolling across the downtown district.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Tuesday approved an agreement with Bird Co., a Los Angeles-based electric vehicle company founded in 2017 that leases electric scooters and bicycles, to lease scooters in the city.

No date has been set for when the company would begin the service. A Bird Co. spokesperson said discussions are underway between city and company officials, adding Bird will provide the program at no cost to the city.

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According to information provided to the city, Bird has scooter and rental bicycle programs on five continents and in 25 countries and 300 cities, including Memphis, Tenn.; Brewton, Ala. and Fort Walton Beach, Fla.

Bird uses a mobile phone app to help riders locate scooters and use them. Riders are charged by the minute through the app.

“Bird has successfully implemented shared e-mobility systems in more than 350 cities,” the spokesperson said. “We plan to apply these learned experiences to a program tailored for Vicksburg.”

While Bird also has a bicycle and electric bicycle program, the spokesperson said only scooters would available when the program starts.

The board’s decision marks the second time it has approved an agreement allowing scooters in the city. The board in 2020 approved an agreement with Blue Duck Express of San Antonio, Texas, to bring electric scooters to the city’s downtown district and got a bill passed in the 2020 Legislature allowing the board to adopt an ordinance governing the use of motorized scooters.

After a good beginning, Blue Duck was forced to pull out of the city when a drop in activity made the venture unprofitable.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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