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New electric scooters hit the streets of downtown Albany – KEZI TV

ALBANY, Ore. — There’s new kind of bird taking flight in Albany: this one just happens to stay on the ground.
The electric scooter company Bird recently launched their service in Albany.
“They are a lot of fun,” said Ricky Putman, an Albany resident.
The scooters provide residents and those who visit another way of getting around downtown.
“I’ve been excited to see them come to downtown Albany. We were part of the informational project leading into bringing them into town,” said Lise Grato, executive director of the Albany Downtown Association.
Other Albany residents like Putman are excited to see them on the streets but wonder if Albany is the right fit for them.
“They are going to be fun for a while, but I just don’t think they will take off. But I love the idea personally,” Putnam said.
It’s quite an easy process: you download the Bird app, load your credit card information onto it, scan the QR code and you’re off.
“I hope for the people who are running it that it works out because it is fun and I’m definitely going to ride one,” Putnam said.
It says right on the scooters that they should not be used on the sidewalks. Matt Harrington from the city of Albany said the scooters will have the same laws applied to them as bikes, which includes helmets and driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUII).
“Really it’s up to the consumer to protect themselves and decide whether or not they want to use this service,” Harrington said.
Harrington said right now there are 25 scooters scattered throughout downtown. They’ll wait to see how it goes before adding any more to the flock.
“We are cautiously optimistic about this one-year pilot program and look forward to see what the data says about Albany and how they are using these scooters,” he said.
Catch Nick Ursini reporting on local news and sports weekdays on KEZI 9 News.
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