Scooter rental program in Minot | News, Sports, Jobs
Electric scooters will land in Minot.
Minot City Council on Monday approved a memorandum of understanding with Bird Rides, Inc., to allow the company to operate a short-term electric scooter rental program in the city. Traveling at up to 15 mph, the scooters would work on the streets, like a bicycle, and would be activated via a geofence to operate only in specific areas of the community.
“Bird is working with the town of Minot to bring our eco-friendly electric scooters to the area this summer. Providing riders in cities like Minot with a fun and sustainable transportation option is central to our mission to reduce dependence on gas-powered vehicles,” the company said in a statement this week.
The company explains how to ride a Bird scooter on a blog post at https://www.bird.co/blog/how-to-bird-beginners-guide-shared-scooter-riding/.
The scooters offer a beginner mode with smooth acceleration, free rides for healthcare workers and emergency personnel, and a community pricing program that offers a 50% discount to low-income riders, Pell Grant recipients , some local non-profit and community organizations, veterans and seniors. .
To register for the free rides, medical workers can email copies of their medical ID cards along with their names and phone numbers to [email protected] For community pricing, users must download the Bird app, create an account, and email proof of eligibility to [email protected]
The scooters are offered to be available for hire around the clock, using a smartphone app. All users must be 18 years or older. Helmets are not required but are encouraged by Bird Rides.
The company offered a fleet of around 100 scooters, operating nine months of the year.
In other matters, council approved an amendment to the ordinance on first reading to allow off-road vehicles within city limits within certain parameters. Police Chief John Klug said off-road vehicles are already being used within city limits, despite the ban, so the ordinance would set rules for their operation.
Changes to Chapter 20 of the city code state that off-road vehicles must be able to travel at least 20 mph and be equipped with certain equipment, including four rubber tires, turn signals, horns, odometers , speedometers, seat belts, factory-installed windshields and roll bar.
Operators must be at least 16 years old and hold a valid driver’s license, and vehicles must be covered by liability insurance. Operators or passengers under the age of 18 must wear a helmet. Vehicles must have headlights and taillights on at all times.
Off-road vehicles would continue to be prohibited on Broadway, Burdick Expressway, Valley Street and the Highway 2, Highway 2 and Highway 52 and Highway 83 bypasses.
Driving an off-road vehicle negligently, under the influence, or on private or public property without permission carries regular penalties for traffic violations. Other violations of the order are subject to a fine of $40.
In addition, the board made decisions regarding flags, parking passes, and legal services.
The council engaged Shane Goettle to provide legal services regarding state government affairs, including those associated with flood protection and energy impacts. The agreement that runs from June to May 31, 2024 and maintains existing costs of $3,500 per month during non-legislative session months and $7,500 per month during legislative session months.
The council approved the refund of half a month of payments to parking pass holders to pay off a period in April when free parking was offered in downtown parking ramps due to snow issues. Passholders can receive either credits on future bills or refund checks. The total estimated cost of refunds is $4,100.
The council changed its policy outlining the types of flags allowed on city flagpoles to allow the POW/MIA flag to be flown in the veterans’ section of Rosehill Memorial Park. The board will revise policy wording that inadvertently excludes the Minot Police Department from flying a flag each year in honor of fallen police officers on a day of remembrance.