City Electric Bike And Scooter Program Delayed
Jun 9, 2023
City officials discussed the delay of Bird Bike Share's electric bike and scooter rental program in the community during Monday's City Council work session. Pictured, from left, are Mayor Eddie Sundquist and City Council President Anthony Dolce, R-Ward II.P-J photo by Timothy Frudd
The implementation of Bird Bike Share's electric bike and scooter rental services in the Jamestown community continues to be delayed due to a challenge the company is facing with regard to hiring someone to manage both the electric scooter and bike programs.
During a meeting Monday, Finance Committee Chairwoman Kim Ecklund, R-At Large, asked Elliot Raimondo, corporation counsel, for an update regarding whether the electric bike and scooter program was still coming to Jamestown. Raimondo told the Finance Committee that he had not heard anything about the electric bike and scooter rental program since the program was approved by the City Council.
City Councilwoman Marie Carrubba, D-Ward IV, said the last report she had been given about the bike and scooter rental program was that the city was waiting to have both the electric bikes and scooters introduced at the same time and that the company was having a difficult time introducing both the bikes and scooters in the community.
City Council President Anthony Dolce, R-Ward II, added that the city "won't have a whole lot of time" to utilize the electric bike and scooter program this year due to the delay in the program.
During the City Council's full work session Monday, City Councilman Brent Sheldon, R-Ward I, separately asked Mayor Eddie Sundquist if city officials knew when the electric bike and scooter program would be coming to Jamestown.
"We have been in communication with Bird about the e-bikes and scooters," Sundquist said. "They’re having sort of a challenge finding someone to manage both scooters and e-bikes. They’ve recommended rolling out scooters first, which we have not been comfortable with. We certainly could roll out scooters first, but as a personal preference, I want to make sure it's rolled out and rolled out right and that they have the right people in place, so I’ve kind of just asked them to hold off until they can find the right people and we can get both bikes and scooters."
Sundquist explained that his administration does not want to risk a poor implementation of the electric bike and scooter program resulting in a "much worse" situation for the community than originally expected. While he said the city could allow Bird Bike Share to start the electric scooter rental program if the City Council wanted, he indicated that it would be better to wait for the full implementation of the program.
"We’re working through that," he said. "I’m happy to give you guys more of an update next week as well. I think we have a meeting coming up with them."
Sundquist added that Bird Bike Share has also been working with Jamestown Community College and other organizations to help provide additional transportation options for students in the community.
Today's breaking news and more in your inboxI'm interested in (please check all that apply) Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *