City to get e-scooters for public use

By Karen Rase - [email protected]

XENIA — The city and its residents are getting closer to becoming more “mobile.”

City Council July 28 authorized the execution of a use agreement with Bird Rides, Inc., for the rental and use of low-speed micromobility devices within the city.

Bird Rides has partnered with the city via a use agreement allowing it to operate on Xenia’s roadways and bike paths, similar to an agreement it had with Springfield in 2021.

The use agreement continues through Dec. 31 and then automatically renew for one year, according to Law Director Donnette Fisher, unless either party gives advance notice of non-renewal.

“I think the people of Xenia will enjoy the micromobility devices coming to town and be well-received by the citizens of Xenia,” said Thomas Scrivens, city councilman.

According to city documents, the use agreement will allow Bird to deploy a fleet of e-scooters throughout Xenia and assign a fleet manager to maintain them. The scooter locations and usage are tracked online. Users access a scooter via a smartphone app that locates the nearest scooter and scans a QR code to activate it.

As the user rides the scooter, usage is billed to the user’s online account. When a journey is complete, the user leaves the scooter at the destination, allowing other users to similarly access it.

City staffers said they believe that Bird will add an affordable, low-impact mobility option for residents and visitors. And the hope that this action will provide a small economic boost to downtown and nearby neighborhoods and business districts, which is where e-scooter operation will likely be concentrated.

According to city council, Bird’s scooters and promotional resources will also increase utilization and positive impact of the city’s bike paths, which will further an X-Plan strategy to “market Xenia’s bike paths to a local regional audience.”

Under the agreement terms, the city will have no responsibility or obligation for the oversight, handling, use, maintenance, repair, recovery, or relocation of any scooter. Scooters will be made available to rent 24 hours per day, but the city may choose to limit operational hours from 4 a.m. to midnight.

The Bird company will provide materials, videos, and signage to promote safe riding, to educate users on their responsibilities, and to encourage safe and courteous riding and parking.

By Karen Rase

[email protected]

Reach Karen Rase at 937-502-4534.

Reach Karen Rase at 937-502-4534.