SAULT STE. MARIE — The Soo has joined one of several other Michigan cities to introduce rent-by-the-minute electronic scooters to the downtown.
Since June 2020, the e-scooter rental company Segway Pass has been giving downtown Sault Ste. Marie a new way to travel around town.
Sherry Garlanger and her partner Jesse Muszynslci founded Segway Pass in late 2019 after seeing similar rentable single-person electronic vehicles in cities like Detroit, and they wanted to bring a similar kind of transportation to other, smaller cities.
Garlanger was working as a mental health advocate when she and her partner decided to invest in the e-scooter business.
"Once we saw the scooters we fell in love with them. That's when we decided that's what we needed to do, and we decided that we could do this part of it," Garlanger said. "I could never go back to my old job, I'm having too much fun doing this."
Launching in Alpena in June 2020, Segway Pass has grown to a fleet of 60 e-scooters between Alpena, Mackinaw City and Sault Ste. Marie. There are also plans to introduce these scooters into smaller Michigan towns, like Howell.
The scooters can currently be found around town near some of the businesses that have partnered with the scooter company, such as the Salvation Army, The Tower of History, VIP Nails and the Printing Lounge.
Riders can take the Segways anywhere within city limits of Sault Ste. Marie, except on the LSSU campus.
Garlanger said she hopes this business can support people who may not have easy access to transportation for their work.
"If the city can sustain the scooters and they like them, people can use them for work. That's what my hope was that they would use them to get to work," said Garlanger. "Then all the money that they would generate would stay here and would help us upgrade the scooters."
Garlanger encourages riders to contact Segway Pass and tell them the best places to add new rental locations, to make the scooters more easily available to the people who need them most.
Garlanger said she hopes these scooters will help people travel more easily in downtown areas now that gas prices are making travel more expensive in cities and towns.
"This is micro-mobility and micro-mobility is the future, especially with gas prices," she said. "The best part of it, you're in control of it."
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It costs $1 to initiate a ride on a scooter and $.30 for every minute of riding.
The scooters are available for public use from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., in between which times they are picked up from their stations and cleaned and recharged before the next day.
The scooters cannot work in deep snow and will be available seasonally based on the weather.
For more information, visit the Segway rental Facebook page or contact the company directly to request a scooter drop off or new scooter station locations at (989) 255-4955.
Contact Brendan Wiesner: BWiesner@Sooeveningnews.com
This article originally appeared on The Sault News: Sault Ste. Marie is introducing rentable e-scooters for downtown