People in downtown Boise saw the return of micro-mobility transportation the week of May 20, as companies relaunched their fleets of e-scooters.
According to Boise’s administrative services senior manager Craig Croner, the move was made after ensuring that certain safety protocols would be in place.
“The scooter companies have really done a good job as far as making sure that public safety is their top priority,” Croner said. “Looking at that, that fit in well with our goals as a city.”
According to Maurice Henderson, director of government partnerships at Bird, the company is putting out smaller fleets than usual to allow for more frequent cleanings. Bird employees now have a 13-point sanitation protocol they go through when picking up the scooters at night. This sanitation protocol is also required any time Bird employees see a scooter on the street or when the scooters are returned to charging stations.
The e-scooters were pulled from the streets in February as concerns over COVID-19 transmission started to mount.
Now, as Idaho and the City of Boise advance their plans to reopen, Henderson said the public can turn to e-scooters for a social-distance-friendly mode of transportation.
“By their nature our e-scooters are socially distanced,” Henderson said. “That six-foot or more of distance is something that you can easily maintain on a Bird.”
Croner said in the 12 months prior to COVID-19 shutdowns, the city recorded over 750,000 miles of e-scooter travel, making the e-scooter a heavily relied-upon alternative mode of transportation. As Idaho progresses through the phases of reopening, Croner said he thinks it’s important for e-scooter companies to provide that service again. The city will continue to monitor the situation with the scooters for any issues that may arise. For now, the companies will be able to resume service.
“We’re really excited to be back in the City of Boise,” Henderson said.