Zagster founder and Chief Business Officer Tim Ericson gave city officials an overview of the proposed e-scooter program and a safety demonstration of one of the Spin scooters on Wednesday.
The city is considering expanding its current partnership with Zagster bike-share program to include an e-scooter pilot program in the future.
“It’s important for us to demonstrate the scooter in downtown before we move forward on anything,” city spokesman Bobby Kelly III told the Log Cabin Democrat prior to the demonstration, stressing that officials are currently fact-finding and no decision has been made. “We want to see how they perform in the downtown environment. You don’t know what issues you will have until you try it.”
Ericson said that over the past 18 months, Zagster “changed to the different modes of transit including e-scooters and e-bikes.”
“It’s been really transformational in cities across the country and we’re very excited to be talking about scooters here today,” he said.
He brought with him a Spin scooter, which is owned by the Ford Motor Company. Spin scooters can reach speeds up to 12.4 mph, has built-in GPS and an anti-lock brake system to prevent skidding on fast stops. They have an LED front headlight, rear red reflector and light and puncture-resistant tires.
In order to use a Spin scooter, one must have the Spin app. The app uses GPS technology to create geo-fencing, which would alert riders if they enter an off-limits area. It also accepts payment, which is $1 per ride plus 15 cents per minute. For example, a user could ride for one hour for $10.
After his presentation and a brief tutorial on operating the scooter, Ericson used his app to unlock the Spin scooter and some city officials and a downtown business owner took the Spin for a test drive.
“I love it,” Mike Coats, owner of Mike’s Place, said after testing out the scooter. “I want one for myself.”
Kelly, Transportation Director Finley Vinson and Chief of Staff Jack Bell all test drove the scooter as well.
“We haven’t committed to anything yet,” Kelly said Wednesday afternoon. “Some key issues will need to be addressed before we move forward.”