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Canton, Bird team up to bring electric scooters to the city – Canton Repository

CANTON – Residents and visitors now can rent Bird electric scooters to ride across the city.
Their debut this week resulted from discussions started last summer between Bird and city Planning Director Donn Angus and Neighborhood Planner Cassie Pearson.  
“They just emailed us, so we talked to them and we liked their program,” Pearson said. “So we just continued to roll with them.”
Electric scooters, which can be rented with a phone app, already are a common sight in cities nationwide. Companies include the California-based Bird, Lime and Spin — the latter of which operates in Akron.
“Canton is committed to innovating and embracing new modes of transit, and Bird is known for implementing an excellent scooter program that meets each community’s unique needs,” Angus said in a city news release. “That’s why we’ve chosen to team up with Bird to create a program that will thrive here.”
Bird has scooters in more than a dozen cities in Ohio, according to a company spokeswoman, and expanding into Canton made sense because of its Pro Football Hall of Fame tourism.
Austin Marshburn, director of city and university expansion for Bird, said in the release, “We applaud the city of Canton for their commitment to offering convenient, environmentally friendly and reliable transportation options to residents and visitors.” 
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Bird plans to deploy about 75 scooters this month and double that amount this summer if the use warrants it. The scooters can travel about 35 miles on a single charge and as fast as 15 mph.
Bird’s mobile app on Wednesday showed scooters concentrated along Market Avenue, Cleveland Avenue NW and McKinley Avenue NW in downtown Canton. A few were dispersed farther out — near the Ken Weber Community Campus at Goodwill on Ninth Street SW, along 12th Street NW, and north of U.S. Route 62 on Cleveland Avenue NW.
Pearson said the scooters will be kept on sidewalks when not in use and are meant to be ridden on roads or in bike lanes. There are currently no off-limits or slow areas, as there are in some other cities. 
“We do have the opportunity to restrict access to certain areas if needed, but to kind of see where they get the most use to start, they kept it pretty open and available,” Pearson said.
She said the hope is to encourage people to explore Canton through a different form of transportation.
Here are some common questions about the scooters: