Rent-able electric scooters available Friday in Memphis

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Electric scooters will be available in Memphis starting Friday.

City leaders secured a temporary operating agreement for Bird, an electric scooter sharing company. The temporary agreement allows Bird to begin immediately.

Friday, Memphis will become the 15th city in the country where Bird has a presence.

"This is really an example of how [Mayor Jim Strickland's administration] is making it easier to do business in the City of Memphis and with the City of Memphis," Memphis Chief Operating Officer Doug McGowan said.

Bird will release 200 scooters in Memphis on Friday. The scooters will be available in Downtown, Midtown, Uptown, South Memphis, and Cooper-Young.

"When you're finished park it in a safe space and you go on your way," Matt Shaw, with Bird, said.

But that was the problem with the Birds in Nashville. People were not leaving them in safe spaces. Instead, they were obstructing sidewalks and other issues, so Nashville City leaders had to suspend the program.

But Memphis city leaders said, unlike Nashville, they have a plan to regulate the Birds and any other e-bike or bicycle company that comes in to the city with a shared mobility ordinance the mayor will sign on Tuesday.

"What we don't want to do is have companies--that's why Bird is has been such a great partner--we don't want someone to drop a thousand scooters around town," Memphis City Councilman Kemp Conrad said.

The scooters will cost $1 to rent and $0.15 for every minute you're riding the scooter.

Thursday, there was a meeting of 80 to 100 people who will be paid to collect the birds at night. It's all apart of the company's "Save our Sidewalks" pledge.

Bird has an app you can download to rent the scooters.

The scooters can travel up to 15 miles per hour and have a range of 20 miles.

The launch of Bird comes three weeks after launching a similar bike share program and just a couple months after bringing the trolleys back to Downtown Memphis.

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