Topekans will soon have access to scooters around the capital city

Published: Mar. 30, 2021 at 5:26 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - City Manager Brent Trout said the first 100 scooters are expected to be in the capital city starting on April 1 giving more Topekans more access to transportation.

City Manager Brent Trout, alongside Mayor Michelle De La Isla, discussed initial plans for electric scooter access for transportation.

He said the hope is to have 100 scooters located around Topeka then expand the number of them as the summer goes. They will have a total of 300, but did not want to rush in with too many at once.

The scooter company Bird will be providing the traveling mechanisms.

The scooter company Bird will participate in a pilot program that will bring new forms of transit to the city through Oct. 2, 2022.

He said there will be designated areas for people to pick them up and drop them off to make sure they are not scattered around.

Those locations are not defined yet but Trout said they could probably where the former bicycle program had their setups.

He’s hoping it’s a success but will have to evaluate operations once the first 100 are in town.

“I think that it’s a neat program that’s an opportunity for us, especially with the bikes program having gone away, to allow that last mile, last block of transportation from wherever a person might be when they’ve utilized mass-transit,” he said.

Trout said he doesn’t know if he will be at the unveiling of the scooters, but he said he might try out to utilize one later in the summer.

In April of 2019, City Council voted 7-2 for the approval of an ordinance allowing the City to regulate scooters on speed, usage and age limitations.

Director of Planning and Development Bill Fiander said in April 2019, the scooters will give citizens another option and choice of transportation.

“That in effect gives everybody from the person in the neighborhood, to the person downtown, the student at Washburn, the ability to have another option that is not reliant on a car,” Fiander said.

In January 2019, a statement from a Bird spokesperson said Topeka would be a great place to provide accessible, affordable, environmentally friendly transportation option.

KWCH reports, in the summer months of 2019 they received “Spin” electric scooters for their citizens and visitors.

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