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Shared Electric Scooters Come To Nashville

Are Electric Scooters Safe?
Posted: 5:24 PM, May 08, 2018
Updated: 2018-05-09 17:24:47Z
Shared Electric Scooters Come To Nashville

Update: Metro has sent Bird scooters a cease and desist letter not long after the scooter-sharing service made its debut in Nashville.  Bird Scooters Gets Cease & Desist Letter From Metro

Original Story: 

A new mode of transportation was added to Music City, Bird scooters. They're rentable, electric scooters that will be moving people all over Nashville.

To rent one, the rider must download the Bird scooter app. Riders find their scooter of choice, scan the bar code, enter your credit card and driver's license information, and scoot to their next destination.

NewsChannel5's Alexandra Koehn took a scooter from Dabble Studio to the Nashville Farmer's Market to try it out Tuesday morning.

She realized she was supposed to be in the bike lanes, but it didn't feel safe. She used the sidewalks in some areas which technically you're not supposed to do according to Bird's website.

Robert Kelly was passing by on a scooter and he said felt the same way.

"Just scooting around it's kind of fun," said Kelly. 

Kelly said he was also having a tough time following the rules.

"From here to downtown, it's super quick this way. You're supposed to wear a helmet... I'm not wearing a helmet."

According to Bird rules, riders must bring their own helmet. 

"Do you think it's dangerous?" Koehn asked Kelly. 

"If a car hits you, I bet it gets pretty dangerous," replied Kelly.

The scooters can reach 15 mph and according to rules listed on the scooter, you have to be 18 years or older to ride.

Amy Kammerman told NewsChannel 5 She hadn't tried it out yet, but she thought it was a great idea for the city of Nashville.

"So what do you think? Do you think it's safe? Will people use it?," asked Koehn.

"I think they will. I think it's probably safer than the pedal taverns," Kammerman said.

However, not everyone is a fan of the scooters. Ricky Lupp said Nashville doesn't have the infrastructure to support scooters yet. 

"As far as getting all the way across town, I might not be willing to risk it," he said.

In other cities, people hate them.

"People in San Francisco apparently are like throwing them off bridges and stuff," Kelly said.

As Kelly scooted away, he said he probably won't rent one again. 

"I'm being super safe. I'm going to stick to calm roads, however I'm going to stick to Charlotte Avenue eventually, but I'm going to try to stick to sidewalks even although that's allegedly also illegal."

Riders simply lock the scooter back into a dock when they're done. It cost Alexandra Koehn $7 for a 40 minute ride. It costs $1 to start each ride plus $0.15 cents per minute after that. 

The scooters can drive about 15 miles on a charge. At the end of a ride, Birds can be parked at bike racks or nests where available. Bird prefers that you don't leave their scooters on sidewalks.

Scooters are dropped off at 7a.m. on private property, and picked up around 8p.m. to re-charge. You can find those pickup locations on the Bird App

In addition, Bird is giving $1 per vehicle per day to city governments to help them build more bike lanes. Bird will ship free helmets to all riders who request them through the app too.