Bird scooters land in Olean as new way to get around

Olean

OLEAN, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Southern Tier community is offering a unique way for its residents and visitors to get around. People in the City of Olean can now rent electric scooters.

Alderman John Crawford says he’s all about bringing creative things to the city to help revitalize it and that’s why he wanted to help launch this new initiative. The bird e-scooter program was launched just this month.

There are about 40 of these scooters around the City of Olean, there will eventually be 75. How it works, is you download the app, walk up to a scooter, scan the bar code, agree to the terms and conditions and then off you go.

Crawford says this program doesn’t cost the taxpayers anything and in fact, the City of Olean gets a portion of every ride made. That revenue will go towards future marketing plans for the city.

Crawford says they’re excited to be one of the first communities in Western New York to offer this.

John Crawford, 5th Ward alderman of the City of Olean told us, “Just really what we’ve been focusing on as a common council, increasing the walkability and bike-ability and various modes of transportation has really been our focus is trying to be as convenient and fun as possible”

You can only ride the scooters on public streets and along bike lanes and bike paths. Crawford says officials are considering creating new local laws for the scooters. He’s encouraging people to be safe just like they would while on a bicycle.

“The requests are that you wear helmets, reflective gear, and abide by the rules of the road and in the downtown district you stay off the sidewalk so it’s definitely going to be a learning curve for everyone, motorists as well as scooter users.” he said.

The scooters don’t operate between midnight and 7 a.m.

Sarah Minkewicz is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

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