E-Scooters Coming to Waterloo, Iowa, After City Tweaks Rules

Earlier this week, city council members in Waterloo, Iowa, changed a number of local ordinances so that residents can start renting e-scooters from California-based company Bird. The scooters will arrive next week.

Electric scooter
(TNS) — Electric scooter rentals are set to hit the streets of Waterloo next week thanks in part to City Council members tweaking the city's vehicle and traffic ordinances.

On Tuesday, the council approved the changes so Bird, the California-based company that is bringing a fleet of the e-scooters, can launch its program in time for the My Waterloo Days festival and to coincide with the city's Spark event.

"Our hope is to launch next Tuesday, June, 8, immediately following the city's Spark event," said Jessica Rucker, executive director with Main Street Waterloo.

The ordinances passed Tuesday include rules to create a license of operators of shared mobility devices — setting fees, insurance requirements and customer service standards — as well as adding electric scooters into the city's existing bicycle ordinance.

Also passed was a resolution setting zones where shared mobility devices can be used. It covers the downtown area and just beyond — roughly west to the John Deere Foundry/TechWorks area, the Conger Street Bridge and the tip of Sans Souci Island, north to Franklin Street, east to a few blocks beyond the 18th Street Bridge and south a few blocks past the U.S. Highway 218 overpass.

Riders can check out and pay for a Bird e-scooter using a cell phone app.

"There is a QR code that you scan and enter your credit card information. The average trip will be in the $5 range depending on time," Rucker said.

Bird's scooters will travel up to 15 mph and will shut off if they leave the approved zone. They can't be ridden on sidewalks and have to be left in designated areas when the ride is over.

©2021 Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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