Council approves pilot plan for rental scooters

Julie Davis, Cherry Road Media

Electric rental scooters are now available in downtown Nebraska City.

The Nebraska City City Council awarded a Shared Mobility Device Pilot Program Agreement to Bird Rides during its Oct. 18 regular meeting, and groups of rental scooters were deployed along Central Avenue on Wednesday, Oct. 20.

The pilot program is in effect for a year, with renewal possible for an additional year going forward.

Mike Butler of Bird Rides joined the council meeting via Zoom to answer any questions the council had about the pilot program.

Butler said the scooters will be taken off the streets and stored locally when the first snow flies, and they will be redeployed when the weather favors their use.

The pilot program calls for about 50 scooters to be available for adults 18 and older to ride around the city, said Butler, who added that Bird Rides has electric scooters in use in about 280 cities across the country, including Lincoln, Columbus, and Kearney.

The initial plan calls for the entire city to be open to scooter use, and Butler said GPS technology on the scooters could be programmed to stop operating if a rider tried to use them on gravel roads and alleys.

In other matters, the council

Accepted the resignation of Public Works Commissioner Paul Davis;

Approved closing 9th Street from Central Avenue to the alley from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 29, for the Trail of Treats, along with placing traffic warning signs on Central during that time to warn motorists to watch for pedestrians; and

Approved promoting Mary Seberger from emergency medical technician to emergency technician-paramedic and adding a full-time paramedic to the Nebraska City Rescue staff.

Mayor Bryan Bequette opened the meeting with a proclamation honoring Cheri Becerra Madsen for her outstanding achievements as a member of the U.S. Paralympic Team.

The next regularly scheduled Nebraska City City Council meeting is set for 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 1, in the Gary White Memorial Room/Council Chambers of the Rowe Memorial Public Safety Complex, 1518 Central Ave.

Bird Ride electric scooters are now available for rent in Nebraska City.