Electric scooter craze will soon be expanding to Sacramento

Bird already active in L.A., San Diego, Oakland and San Jose


Photo by Elvert Barnes - CC BY 2.0

A Bird electric scooter on a sidewalk in Baltimore on Jan. 11, 2019. Bird is an electric scooter rental company which has infiltrated California and will soon be coming to Sacramento.

Jasmin Acosta

Bird, an electric scooter rental company, will soon be introducing their environmentally friendly electrical scooters to the capital city with support of Sacramento officials.

On Sept. 19, 2018 Gov. Jerry Brown approved proposed Assembly Bill No. 2989, allowing electrical scooters to operate on highways that do not exceed a speed limit of 35 mph.

The bill also requires operators under the age of 18 to wear a “properly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet” as stated in Section 1 of the bill.

According to state law, scooter renters can drive with any valid class driver license, instruction permit, or a permit to operate a motorized scooter.

Bird scooters are currently available in Los Angeles, San Diego, Oakland and San Jose. Similar to JUMP bikes, Sacramento can soon expect an invasion of electric scooters.

The bill also states that scooters are not permitted to be left unattended on a sidewalk to refrain from blocking public pathways and to avoid cluttering sidewalks.

Sacramento is actively reviewing regulations on e-scooters, requiring Bird to provide parking racks to properly accommodate operators and maintain public safety.

Princess Chum, a communications studies major, said she thinks she’ll enjoy the scooters if they work in the same way JUMP bikes do.

“I don’t want to buy a bike or scooter because I know I won’t use it often so renting one is much more efficient,” Chum said. “I’d rather rent for a short period than to buy one.”

Sac State undeclared major Cynthia Cruz said the idea of the scooters is useful in allowing a rider to get to their destination quicker.

“I also won’t have to worry about using a regular scooter where I will actually have to use my legs in order to go faster. With electric scooters, I won’t have to worry about that,” Cruz said.

Bird’s electric scooters cost $1 to unlock and 15 cents per minute ridden. Users must download the Bird app, find and scan a scooter and end their ride when they have arrived at their destination.

Communications studies major Jacob Pico said he thinks the introduction of scooters could help students getting to school.

“I believe it would be a useful way for people to get to class in a faster way,” Pico said. “And it could help out students that need a little extra help to go back and forth from campus.”