AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — It’s day one for e-scooters in Aurora. The “Bird” e-scooter program launched 125 devices in the city with plans to have 350 e-scooters on the streets within the next month.
“Bird has been very aggressive about reaching out and expanding to different cities and we are very excited to be part of that expansion,” said Tom Worker-Braddock, transportation planner for the City of Aurora.
Aurora has always been an advocate for shared transportation devices. In 2019, the city began offering licenses to mobility sharing operators. In March of 2021, Bird stepped up to the plate. Currently, the city will allow a maximum of 500 Bird e-scooters. That could potentially increase, if Bird can prove to city council the scooters are being utilized enough to justify bringing in more.
“We do not expect to see an e-scooter lying at the same corner for an expanded period of time,” said Worker-Braddock. “We expect the contractors will be out there, picking up the scooters to recharge and then redistribute them based on where they see the demand.”
Aurora city officials hope the availability of e-scooters will encourage more people to utilize public transportation through a ‘first mile and last mile connection,’ taking people from their homes to the light rail and then back home again once off the rail or outside a bus station. The city has the option to require Bird to have designated parking spots but currently, nothing is marked on the ground yet. As the summer progresses however, those rules could get stricter.
Bird has detailed instructions for its riders that each user is required to review before booking their first ride.
“We see these devices first rolled out in the northern part of Aurora and around the light rail stations and then gradually expand to the more southern parts of Aurora as the summer goes on,” said Worker-Braddock.
Worker-Braddock tells FOX31 city council would consider approving an application from Lyft and Lime if the e-scooter companies decide to apply. With every e-scooter ride, Aurora receives three cents for an infrastructure fee that goes towards improving roads and sidewalks.
Bird is hosting Zoom webinars at noon and 5:30 p.m. May 17 to provide interested attendees with a summary of their service and offer a chance for questions from attendees. To join the webinar, visit AuroraGov.org/SharedMobility. Everyone who participates will earn a free ride.