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DOT Launches Pilot Electric Scooter and Dockless Bike Program

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Baltimore has abandoned its troubled BikeShare program in favor of electric scooters and bikes. The city is launching a six-month pilot program with the scooters while shutting down the problem plagued BikeShare program after less than two years.

Mayor Catherine Pugh announced the move Wednesday calling it the "wave of the future" in transportation.

She said the city has issued permits for Bird, which already has 60 of its electric scooters operating around the Inner Harbor, and Lime, to place 1,000 bikes and electric scooters around the city.

The California based firms will distribute about 1000 of each kind of vehicle throughout the city at no cost to the city.

To get one of the scooters, you just download the company’s app on your phone to view of a map of where the scooters are located, unlock the vehicle with your phone, and off you go.

"ecause our model is a little bit more financially more affordable for a lot of people we see it as the solutions for neighborhoods that don’t have the transportation that they need and we can offer," said Monica Laufer, with Bird, a Santa Monica, California, company.

She said customers can rent a Bird scooter for an initial fee of $1 and then 15 cents for every minute of use.

Michelle Porciau, director of the city’s department of transportation, said the companies are to offer discounts to low income customers and to target certain low-income neighborhoods.

"With the agreement we’ve identified especially neighborhoods that are low income and where the use is really important in terms of alternatives for transportation," Porciau said.

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