Bird e-scooters launch in Pensacola

Northwest Florida

PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — Those in Pensacola have a new way to get around now with the launch of Bird Rides. 

Bird Rides, dubbed by some as the Uber of Scooters, launched a one-year pilot program Monday with a few dozens of scooters, mainly focused on the downtown Pensacola area. 

City officials say the scooters are a fun way to get around town but also help reduce carbon emissions and congestion. 

Drew Buchanan, fleet manager for Bird downtown, said Monday the scooters are a great asset for Pensacola. 

“We’ve seen a lot of cities across the U.S. have scooters. Some haven’t been run so well. Some have been. We’re really trying to be a model of how they can work really collaboratively with bicycles and electric bicycles,” Buchanan said. 

To rent a scooter, you download the Bird app and search for the scooter closest to you or your destination. Riders rent the scooter through the app and when done, they are directed to park it out of pedestrian pathways on a sidewalk or unmarked curb. 

“We’re starting with a very small fleet right now and essentially the technology on these things is amazing. So in addition to enforcement, we’re going to be having people driving around making sure these things aren’t blocking ADA accessibility sidewalks, making sure they’re not blocking driveways or anything pedestrians need to use,” Buchanan said. “Also, we’re making sure they’re trying to stay off the sidewalks. We want people to ride just like a bike — on the street where it’s safe.” 

The scooters cost $1 to rent and 39 cents for every minute on them. There are some areas excluded from riding, including Palafox Street. Check the app for restrictions.

Below are guidelines from Bird on the scooter program: 

Bird guidelines and rules include:

  • The electric scooters can be used on roads and in bike lanes and have a maximum speed of 15 mph. 
  • Scooters must be parked out of the way of pedestrians and never blocking driveways or accessibility ramps.
  • Riders are required to be at least 18 years old to access the scooters.
  • Riders are encouraged to wear a helmet on every ride.
  • Riders are required to obey all standard rules of the road. 
  • Additional rules may apply. Please refer to the app for more information.

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