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E-Scooter Companies to Ride Out Florence Indoors, Not on Street

  • Dockless e-scooters, bikes found in cities in Florence’s path
  • Companies to pull vehicles from roads before storm hits

 

E-scooter companies such as Bird are taking steps to ensure their vehicles won’t accidentally take flight when Hurricane Florence makes landfall, several companies say.

At least three electric scooter companies with vehicles in the projected path of the storm are moving their scooters and bikes to storage as the storm approaches.

Florence is expected to make landfall near Myrtle Beach, S.C., around Friday, bringing with it a 13-foot ocean surge and torrential rain.

Florence Readies `Mike Tyson Punch’ to Batter Carolina Coast

Scooters from Bird Rides, Inc., Skip Transport, Inc., and LimeBike have appeared seemingly overnight on many city streets in recent months. The dockless e-scooters are usually left near a bike rack or in the public space of city sidewalks. They weigh upwards of 25 pounds, which would make them no match for the storm’s peak winds expected to be between 100 to 120 miles per hour when it hits land.

In Washington, one of several East Cost cities where Bird has deployed, the city has no requirement for dockless bikes or scooters specific to extreme weather or flooding, Terry Owens, a public information office for Washington’s transportation department, told Bloomberg Government.

The city’s regulations “require the companies to keep sidewalks passable,” Owens said.

Charge, Then Redeploy

Lime, which is deployed in North Carolina, Maryland, and Washington, is removing its scooters and bikes from the streets in communities that could be slammed by Hurricane Florence, Mary Caroline Pruitt, Lime Spokeswoman, said in an email.

Skip, which has scooters in Washington, plans to monitor throughout the day Thursday. If heavy rains are expected Friday, the company will pull its entire fleet Thursday night, Elly Stolnitz, a spokeswoman for Skip, told Bloomberg Government in an email.

Both Skip and Bird will charge their vehicles during the storm and will redeploy quickly once it passes.

“Bird’s community of trained Chargers will store the vehicles until the bad weather has cleared and once again permits safe riding in affected cities,” a Bird spokesperson said in an email.

Bird has vehicles in North Carolina, Virginia, Washington, and Maryland, all of which could be affected by Florence in the coming days.

To contact the reporter on this story: Shaun Courtney in Washington at scourtney@bgov.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Paul Hendrie at phendrie@bgov.com; Jonathan Nicholson at jnicholson@bgov.com; Robin Meszoly at rmeszoly@bgov.com

The post E-Scooter Companies to Ride Out Florence Indoors, Not on Street appeared first on Bloomberg Government.

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