© 2022 Boise State Public Radio
WebHeader_3.png
NPR in Idaho
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Electric scooters now available in Caldwell

A Bird electric scooter found parked on a sidewalk in Washington, D.C. Pedestrian advocates are concerned about scooters blocking sidewalks.
Eric Baradat
/
AFP/Getty Images
A Bird electric scooter found parked on a sidewalk in Washington, D.C. Pedestrian advocates are concerned about scooters blocking sidewalks.

The City of Caldwell joins Boise and Meridian as the only Idaho cities to allow shared e-scooters as a transportation alternative.

Seventy-five new e-scooters are now available near Caldwell's downtown.

Ofelia Morales, the Economic Development Specialist for the City, said they expect the e-scooters to help the downtown businesses.

"The intention is really to have that connection between our community to our downtown," she said.

In just a week, more than 600 riders used the e-scooters she said. They launched at the College of Idaho, where the city thinks there is the highest demand amongst younger folks and visitors who might otherwise not want to spend money on parking.

"A quick trip via E-scooter might get them down here and get them spending some of some of their money at our local retail shops or local restaurants," Morales added.

Other towns around Idaho have considered but ultimately rejected initiatives to introduce shared e-scooters and e-bikes. Twin Falls, Nampa, Lewiston and Moscow turned down proposals for the new forms of transportation over concerns for public safety.

The electric scooters have a range of 25 miles and can reach up to 18 miles an hour. They’re offered by the private company Bird that operates the ones in Boise and Meridian. The service isn’t costing the city any money.

Boise also recently introduced ebikes to its roster of shared transportation options.

Riders must be at least 18 and Bird will send users a free helmet if they cover the cost of shipping.

As the Canyon County reporter, I cover the Latina/o/x communities and agricultural hub of the Treasure Valley. I’m super invested in local journalism and social equity, and very grateful to be working in Idaho.