Electric rental scooters arrive in Dallas

Electric rental scooters showed up in Uptown and Downtown Dallas on Friday just two days after the city approved a six-month pilot program.

Two companies, Bird and Lime, have placed scooters around parts of the center part of the city. Each is allowed to deploy up to 500 scooters.

Bird said its goal is to reduce urban congestion and give people a quick easy way to get around when it's too far to walk but too close to drive. The Santa Monica-based company is placing the scooters near packs of rental bikes.

"We think both bikes and scooters are great,” said Bird’s Matt Shaw. “Anything that gets people out of cars is a good thing. Sometimes you feel like pedaling. Sometimes you feel like taking a Bird ride.”

Helmets are not required in Texas, but Bird says it's a big believer in them and will mail people a free helmet when they download the app to use the scooter.

Lauren Thomas and Shannon Killough, like thousands of other people, walked by the scooters Friday morning and wondered what they were.

"We've been walking to work like every day and sweating like crazy in our work clothes and stuff,” Killough said. “It's just nice because you get a nice breeze, you don't have to walk and it's a lot faster."

Thomas said she was able to hop aboard without any problems.

For Jevoy Johnson, they couldn't have come at a better time. He just moved from New Work for work and doesn't have a car.

“In New York, Ubers are cheap. But here, everything's kind of spread out and far,” he said. “So Uber back to the office in downtown Dallas is gonna be like $20. I just stand there on this thing. It's pretty sweet and fast so I get there in time.”

The city does have some rules for users. Riding on the sidewalks in downtown and parts of Deep Ellum is prohibited as well as riding or parking the scooters in city parks or Klyde Warren Park.

The scooters cost $1 to start and 15 cents a minute to ride.

The city plans to roll out some public service announcements and a website to educate people on where they can and can't ride scooters.

After the pilot program, city council will look at what works and what doesn't work and revisit the regulations for them.

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