Bird, a US-based scooter company, partners up with mobility vehicle company Scootaround to launch a program that will test electric vehicle rentals in New York City.

The said program is expected to launch in August. A new button in Bird's app will let users with mobility issues choose one of three different models to rent, including three-wheel scooters, four-wheel scooters, and the Whill Model Ci2 power wheelchair.

Bird and Scootaround Launches Mobility Rental Program

Once the user chooses a vehicle to rent, they can pick a rental length between one and 14 days. The users will get an in-person tutorial to make sure that they are comfortable with the rental. They can test it out before completing the rental process.

Bird also has a toll-free number that users can contact at any time for questions and inquiries about the rental process, as reported by Engadget. 

Also Read: Foldable Electric Bike Brand Brompton Software Error: US CPSC Recalls E-Bikes Due To Hazardous Issues

Kerry Renaud, the CEO of Scootaround, said that as micromobility options like shared bikes and scooters continue to expand, he wants to make sure that the benefits of these transportation networks can be made as widely available as possible, and it will include people with disabilities.

Bird and Scootaround plan to roll out the program to more cities later this year.

New York Legalizes Electric Bikes and Scooters

In 2020, the New York State lifted its ban on electric bikes and scooters, and the city Department of Transportation made Lime, VeoRide, Bird, and Scootaround as part of its e-scooter pilot in the Bronx.

Due to the reports and surveys suggesting the danger of e-Scooters and e-bikes, New York was against allowing them to be used on the road. 

However, when the pandemic limited the options for accessible transportation services, the state finally caved in and finally allowed the locals to use electric bikes and scooters are their means of transportation.

The state legalized the use of electronic bikes and scooters and even gave the locals the ability to decide how they will regulate the e-vehicles. The lifting of the ban greatly benefited delivery workers who use e-bikes for their business, according to The Verge. 

However, scooters are still illegal in Manhattan, but they could change as soon as the provision is overruled.

The law on the use of electronic bikes created three classes: Class 1 are e-bikes pedal-assisted and have no throttle; Class 2 are e-bikes that are throttle-assisted with a maximum speed of 20 and Class 3 are e-bikes that are throttle-powered with a maximum speed of 25 mph.

For the electronic scooters that are capped at 15 mph, riders under 18 years of age are required to wear a helmet. For riders of Class 3 electronic bikes, they are required to wear helmets too. Food delivery workers who need electronic bikes are already required by law to wear helmets.

The new program by Bird and Scootaround will not only benefit delivery workers and immigrants who use electronic bikes and scooters to go around the city, but it will also benefit differently-abled people, according to The New York Times.

Before the ban was lifted, only pedal-assisted e-bikes were allowed in the city. The pedal-assisted bikes were introduced by Citi Bike and have been legal for years, frequently seen on the city's streets and bike paths.

However, the throttle-powered bikes, especially those that can achieve speeds of up to 25 mph, were subject to $500 fines and were confiscated by the New York Police Department.

Related Article: Electric Scooters By Dott, Lime, and Tier Will Be Tested in London on June 7th

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Written by Sophie Webster

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