Bird scooters make debut

Bird electric scooters were released Sept. 20, in a launch event at the Hindsman Bell Tower by Arkansas Tech University’s Student Government Association.

Two representatives from Bird came for the event to hand out helmets and share information about how to use both the helmets and the scooters. Pamphlets were handed out, as well as free t-shirts that had the words “Scooter Squad” on the front.

The event drew a good number of students, as well as faculty. Dr. Robin Bowen, Tech president, also made an appearance, and rode one herself.

Scooters will be in different locations from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. every day. Renting the scooters is primarily done within the “Bird” app. The app has a way to pay for the ride, a student’s ride history, a section on how to ride, how to be safe and more. The app also has a section to send questions, comments or concerns to the actual Bird team, who get back to a student in a text.

Safety is the biggest concern. Birds cannot be taken out of city limits or be ridden without a helmet. More than one person on a scooter is unacceptable.

Birds cannot be parked in a high-traffic area. Recommended areas include off to the side of a building or near bicycle racks.

To start riding, users need to “kick start three times, then push throttle button with thumb to ride,” according to the Bird app. Users also need to ride in bicycle lanes when available.

The app is also has a map with locations of each Bird scooter so it is easily accessible for a user to find one when needed. If a user cannot find it, the user is able to call an alert in order to find it. Bird scooters are $1 up front and 15 cents each minute afterwards.

For more information, students and faculty can contact the Student Government Association in Doc Bryan 233 or by calling 479-968-0276.