Naples considers adding Bird electric scooters for public use

Southwest Florida could be trending in the mode of public transportation like some other areas around the world, as electric scooters may offer people a new way to beat the seasonal traffic. But, some locals are skeptical about how safe these scooters will be.

The City of Naples is considering a deal to bring Bird electric scooters to the public, and all you would need is your phone.

“I don’t know if they’re just going to become reckless with tourists on them?” said Jim Ludwig, who lives in Naples.

Others see it as a new opportunity for the younger generation.

“The younger people would obviously love it more because it’s futuristic,” said Ryan Moitoso, who was visiting the area.

Ludwig said he has heard about issues related to the California scooter company.

“I’ve heard about it in other parts of the country,” Ludwig said. “And it seems like, possibly, they’re having problems.”

These public, dock-less electric scooters offer people an innovative way to get around.

How it works: You download an app to find and unlock scooters close to you, pay through the app, ride the scooter to where you want to go, then just walk away and leave it for the next rider.

“It’d be pretty cool just riding down on a two-wheeler having a little fun,” Moitoso said.

The positives: It promotes tourism, reduces congestion and frees up parking.

“We do have a lot of working-class people supporting the city,” Cathy Pisano. “So, that would help them get around and be an alternative to having to wait for a bus or riding a bicycle.”

The negatives: Neighbors said they are worried it would give them another thing to look out for on the road.

“If there are electric scooters crossing the roads, and people aren’t used to seeing them, it could be dangerous as well,” Piano said. “I don’t know that it would be the best fit for our city.”

The city is still in preliminary discussions regarding the electric scooters for public use. The city council would have to create and pass an ordinance to allow for the scooters to be used on sidewalks and roadways.

Reporter:Hannah Vogel
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