If you live or work in or near downtown Dayton, you now have another transportation option that doesn’t involve motor vehicles.
San Francisco-based Spin — a provider of electric scooters owned by Ford Motor Co. — is putting 100 scooters in the downtown area, and community leaders welcomed them Wednesday with a Courthouse Square celebration.
“The whole idea is to provide another option for first-mile, last-mile (trips),” said Will Burns, director of government partnerships on the East coast for Spin scooters and a native Ohioan. “That sort of gap that’s too far to walk, you may not want to catch a cab or catch a ride-share, and you’re looking for a way to get from point A to point B.”
Spin has found growing popularity for short trips. Milwaukee recently approved 240 of the electric rides. You can find the scooters on the campus of Virginia Tech, in Ann Arbor, Mich. and communities well beyond — in Coral Gables, Fla., Washington, D.C., Charlotte, N.C., Durham, N.C., Lexington, Ky., Denver, Colo. and elsewhere, according to the company’s web site.
The devices should fit in fine in Dayton, predicted those at a Courthouse Square celebration Wednesday morning.
“You’ve heard it before,” said Sandy Gudorf, who heads the Downtown Dayton Partnership. “You can actually walk, you can ride a Link bike, you can now hop on a scooter or you can take an RTA bus.”
Ford Smart Mobility LLC acquired Spin for a reported $100 million late last year.
Using the scooters is easy. Download the Spin app, find a charged scooter in a safe place and go. The scooters are dockless, meaning they can be left anywhere and tracked using built-in GPS.
Using them is not free. When riders arrive at their destination, they can leave them on the street for the next customer to find with the app.
In April, Dayton city commissioners approved legislation that imposes new rules on electric-motorized devices and the companies that rent them out.
Electric scooters and other devices will be barred from operating on the sidewalk, except in order to park. They will be required to have lighting and will not be allowed to travel faster than 15 mph, according to city rules.
Generally, the regulations will treat electric transportation devices like bicycles when it comes to the rules of the road, city officials have said.
Groups that rent scooters and electric transportation devices will have to apply for permits to operate in the city of Dayton.