The City of Gastonia has an agreement with Bird Rides, Inc. to bring electric scooters to its downtown area. In mid-September of last year, the company worked with two local entrepreneurs to establish a franchise within the City limits. On October 20, 2020, Gastonia’s city council enacted rules and regulations for the scooters with the passage of a Shared Active Transportation System Ordinance that allows for multi-modal transportation in the City. Bird Rides, Inc. was issued a permit on January 8 to operate no more than 50 scooters in the City.
“We wanted to be proactive in ensuring safety while offering scooters to the public as we identify several modes of transportation to and from our downtown area and the new ballpark,” said Assistant City Manager Quentin McPhatter. “Bird Rides has a significant presence in larger cities and saw the benefit of operating in an emerging market like Gastonia.”
Details about the electric scooters in Gastonia:
- Up to 50 scooters are available throughout the downtown area.
- Scooters can be used in the area of Gaston Avenue/Long Avenue to the north, E. Second Avenue to the south, S. Vance Street to the West, and Broad Street to the east
- The cost to ride a scooter is $1.00 to unlock the scooter and 39 cents per mile to ride.
- City ordinance prohibits the use of scooters on sidewalks, trails, and other public areas like Eastridge Mall.
The City believes the scooters will encourage multi-modal access to the FUSE District, events at the ballpark, and in the downtown. In addition to walking, driving, using bike racks, electric vehicle charging stations, and a new bus transfer station to the ballpark, electric scooters provide an additional means of transportation to the public.
Safety while riding scooters is important. The City of Gastonia strongly recommends that riders use the scooters safely and responsibly, being aware of traffic flow and City ordinances.
Safety tips for riders:
- Conduct a safety check of the scooter and take a test ride.
- Wear a helmet.
- Plan your trip ahead of time to avoid being rushed.
- Ride solo.
- Do not drink and ride.
- Return the scooter to an upright position, away from traffic and pedestrians.