The era of the electric scooter has arrived in Shreveport. Bird, a micro-mobility company based out of Santa Monica, California, has entered the Shreveport market practically overnight. The electric scooters, which are rented through a companion app, are loved (and hated) across the country.
Scanning a scooter’s code in the app delivers a message that the device is not yet available for use, but if their sudden appearance is any indication, they should be enabled sooner than later.
To use a scooter (when they become available), one must download the Bird app, set up an account, and attach a payment method — a process very similar to rideshare apps. Once the app is set up, users scan the barcode on the top of the scooter in the app and may begin their ride. Each rental is charged by the mile.
The scooters are able to operate from Clyde Fant Parkway to the east to Hearne Avenue/Highway 3094 to the north, Jewella Avenue to the west, Midway Avenue and Ockley to the south. There are areas of downtown, however, where the scooters may not be used, including the riverfront promenade and the Texas Street bridge. The scooters will cease to function in these areas until the scooters are moved to an area approved for their use. All scooters are GPS tracked.
It’s worth noting that much of the hate for scooters comes from people misusing them, leaving them toppled over on the ground, blocking roads and sidewalks. So if you’re going to use them, be sure to leave them in a proper area away from where walkers won’t trip over them and vehicles won’t hit them. Additionally, it is widely recommended that scooters use the streets instead of sidewalks for pedestrian safety, and for riders to use bike lanes when available.
Africa Price, Director of Governmental Affairs for the City of Shreveport, said there was no formal agreement with the city for the devices. According to the City of Shreveport Code of Ordinances Sec. 90-174, riders must be 18 years of age.
Bossier City turned down an opportunity to have scooters on their side of the river.
Steven Knight contributed to this article.