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E-scooters coming soon to Medford

Photo courtesy Bird RidesMedford City Council has approved plans to offer scooter rentals in the city.

Bird e-scooters will be available in Medford “in the coming days,” according to an update posted Tuesday on the city’s website.

Medford City Council approved a one-year pilot program with the Los Angeles-based electric transportation company in November.

“Scooters make for a useful way to bridge the gap between public transportation and a person’s home or work,” said Matt Brinkley, planning director for the city, in a website post. “More transportation options can bring a lot of benefits to the city.”

The city said the scooters are environmentally friendly and can reduce traffic congestion on roadways, as well as offer another option to residents who don’t have vehicles.

The scooters can travel at up to 15 mph and are designed for use on roads and in bicycle lanes. Riders must be at least age 18 to use the scooters.

“They are also encouraged to wear a helmet on every ride and are required to obey all standard rules of the road,” the city stated in its announcement.

The electric vehicles are supposed to be parked in locations that are away from pedestrians and not blocking driveways.

The scooters are available through the Bird mobile phone application. Cost to rent one here is $1 to start and then 39 cents for each minute, with a minimum cost of $3.50. Online payments can be made with a credit card, Paypal, Google Pays or arranged at about a dozen locations listed in Medford and adjacent communities, according to the company’s reservation app.

Discounts of 50% are available to low-income riders, Pell grant recipients, some local nonprofit and community organizations, as well as veterans and senior citizens through Bird’s Community Pricing Program. To sign up for the Community Pricing Program, download the Bird app, create an account, and email your proof of eligibility to access@bird.co.

No city money will be used to pay for the service.

The company also offers free rides to health care workers and emergency personnel.

The company’s website, bird.co, and its blog, bird.co/blog, provide information about the business and how to use its scooters.

Bird support is available around the clock at 866-205-2442.