The birds have nested.
The city of Anderson added a fleet of 25 Bird electrical scooters that are now downtown and ready to rent and ride.
Stretched out clusters of a few scooters dotted Main Street and blended in among parked cars and construction barrels Wednesday at noon.
Tyler Moore of Anderson stopped to check out the new scooters when he was walking down Main Street with friends.
Moore pulled on the brake and acceleration handle of a scooter before realizing a QR code and app would unlock it. The group of three had seen the scooters on Youtube and in other cities but were surprised to see them in Anderson.
Bird Rides, Inc. reached out to the city about adding the rentable fleet, said Andrew Strickland, the assistant Anderson city manager. City Council voted unanimously to give the scooters a chance in November.
Bird is an electric scooter rental service that is rented through a phone app by the mile. After an unlock fee, users can expect to pay less than 20 cents a mile.
The e-scooters are left wherever the rider ends up and future riders can find the location of nearby e-scooters on the app. The company has added fleets all over the world and that gives them a handle on which markets will be successful, Strickland said.
Bird Rides, Inc. will use a local operator to run the fleet of scooters and the operator will be responsible for maintenance and repositioning the scooters.
Users have to be 18 or older and the e-scooters will be treated by police as if they are bicycles, since they need to utilize the street, Strickland said.
Anything new in Anderson has a honeymoon period and this is no exception, Strickland said.
It's a good way to get around but the assistant city manager said he was cautiously optimistic since he doesn't want the sidewalks cluttered or for downtown to lose its charm.
"At any point if the fleet is operated in our eyes irresponsibly, if they create clutter, if there are public safety issues, we have the ability to terminate this agreement completely," Strickland said.
As downtown continues to change and grow, Mayor Terence Roberts said these scooters give one more avenue of mobility.
"With the opening of the hotel and the third brewery downtown," Roberts said, "it gives customers and potential tourists a way to navigate through the city."
Sarah Sheridan is the community reporter in Anderson. She'd appreciate your help telling important stories; reach her at email@example.com or on twitter @saralinasher.
This article originally appeared on Anderson Independent Mail: Bird electric scooters are ready to ride, rent in downtown Anderson