ATLANTIC BEACH — A company is looking into bringing a new alternative mode of transportation to Atlantic Beach — electric scooters.
The Atlantic Beach Town Council met Thursday for its regular work session in the town hall meeting room on West Fort Macon Road. During the work session, the council received a presentation from Bird territory manager Chris Stockwell on the company’s service.
He said the the company is a shared scooter provider with a goal to help people travel short distances without cars.
“For Atlantic Beach specifically, I see it as an option for those coming down for the day or week and not having to worry about moving their cars,” he said.
The scooters are distributed throughout a given municipality and can be used by people who download a smartphone app. After watching a safety tutorial, customers pay $1 to start the scooter and then a per-minute fee for the ride.
While the council didn’t take any action on the proposal Thursday at the work session, it seemed open to the idea.
Mayor Trace Cooper asked about age limits for operators, to which Mr. Stockwell said a driver’s license is required to create an account to use the scooters.
“There’s a lot of back roads people could use if they want to use a scooter,” Mayor Cooper said.
Council members also voiced concern about keeping scooters from being ridden along Highway 58. There are already regulations in place restricting the use of low-speed vehicles, which are allowed only on town-maintained streets, but may cross Highway 58.
“Our tech lets us limit where our scooters can go,” Mr. Stockwell said.
According to the territory manager, Bird partners with a local businessperson in each city or town they provide service. This local partner is responsible for maintaining, distributing and charging the scooters.
“We have a whole suite of tools and technology to teach people and help people ride,” Mr. Stockwell said. “You’re a smaller city, but you have a lot of tourists.”
Bird already offers the scooter service in a number of areas across North Carolina, including Charlotte and the Triangle, according to its online service map.
In other news at Thursday’s work session, the council received an update on the ongoing project to convert the water treatment plant from chlorine to a chloramine system. Town water supervisor Leghe Gerald said staff has received a cost estimate of $163,000 from GMA Engineers for the project. Town manager David Walker said the town intends to pay for the project with American Rescue Plan funding.
The following also occurred during the work session:
- Town planning and zoning director Michelle Eitner reviewed proposed unified development ordinance amendments to comply with N.C. General Statute 160D. The amendments will come before the council at its regular meeting Monday, June 28.
- Police Chief Jeff Harvey reviewed proposed amendments to the town noise ordinance. These amendments will come before the council June 28, as well.
Contact Mike Shutak at 252-723-7353, email email@example.com; or follow on Twitter at @mikesccnt.