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Beloit's Bird scooter program suddenly ends, future uncertain in Janesville

Electric scooter companies Lime, Spin and Veo are continuing with a new pilot program in Milwaukee.
Bird Electric Scooters
Posted at 10:49 AM, Sep 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-09 11:49:21-04

BELOIT, Wis.  — While Milwaukee's electric scooter program is back on the streets, a similar one in Beloit has collapsed. Not by city officials, but by the contractor working for scooter company Bird.

The Gazette Xtra in Beloit reports the paving operator nixed the agreement with Bird after one year, arguing the California scooter company was not responsive to problems and made "progressive" cuts to his pay agreement.

The contractor, Nick Yoss, said he was not sure if Bird would relaunch the program in Beloit. Yoss said he returned all of the company's scooters, erased his account with the company and severed his relationship as an "independent fleet manager."

Bird has a similar program in nearby Janesville, where they are three weeks into a three-month pilot progam. But the Gazette Xtra reports businesses have been complaining over a ridership they say is mostly underage.

Yoss adds to the newspaper that some of the same Janesville problems played out in the Bird program in Beloit, including pressures on business relationships.

Meanwhile in Milwaukee, the city appears to have embraced the concept of rentable electric scooters. Brew City's pilot program existed in spurts in the recent past and is back once again.

The 2022-23 pilot allows for a maximum of 1,800 scooters citywide and for a broader dispersal of scooters, meaning fewer scooters downtown. The city of Milwaukee says the maximum speed for dockless scooters is 15 miles per hour, and riding on the sidewalk and the Riverwalk is prohibited.

Milwaukee signed on with the companies Lime, Spin and Veo for the electric scooters. According to the Lime app, pricing starts at $1 per ride plus $0.34 per minute. An all-you-can-ride pass is $11.99 for one hour or $19.99 for 24 hours, the app states.

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