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City council paves way for electric scooters to come to Rockford

An official launch date will be announced soon.
Published: Apr. 20, 2021 at 8:18 AM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Residents could soon have a new way to get around town after Rockford City Council approves a plan to bring electric scooters to town.

Posted by Bird on Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Monday night, City Council passed a pilot Operating Agreement with Bird Rides, Inc. With the approved agreement, Bird will bring an electronic scooter sharing system to Rockford this summer.

Alderperson Bill Rose says, “My expectation would be this will be more entertainment and pleasure purposes instead of more people trying to get to work.” This is a project three years in the making, the city was looking to replace the LimeBike program, which failed to gain steam in 2018. Some residents say we might be riding down that same path with the public scooters.

McKale Berg says, “I just don’t think that Rockford’s downtown area is big enough really to necessitate that many scooters. I think you’ll ultimately find people misusing them, leaving them in the street and ditching them where they shouldn’t be.”

The scooters would only be usable in certain areas of the city and there’s concerns about where they will be kept when not in use.” Rockford resident Josh Reeder says, “There aren’t many bike racks downtown. I don’t know where storage will be, must likely just in the middle of the sidewalks.”

An exact plan is still in the works as to where the scooters will be allowed and a launch date has not been announced. Some fear it’s progress that Rockford isn’t quite ready for. Berg says; “Maybe one day as downtown Rockford is growing and getting nicer, I can see it but as of now I think it’s a bit early.”

Alderperson Rose says, “Those are the kind of things that attract people to our city and this is something that I think will go over well.”

Once the zones are mapped out, the scooters would be come inoperable when they travel outside of the given area.

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