University Community

City of Athens and OHIO partner to launch new electronic scooter/e-bike transportation option

The City of Athens and Ohio University have partnered to allow e-scooters & e-bikes starting Aug. 22. In coordination with Bird, a leader in environmentally friendly electric transportation, this eco-friendly transportation option can be activated through Bird’s free mobile phone application and used to replace gas-powered car trips when going to the store, meeting up with friends, exploring the community and taking many other daily trips.

“Ohio University is committed to supporting sustainability through the use of safe, reliable and affordable transportation accommodations on campus,” Director of Auxiliary Services for Ohio University’s Division of Finance and Administration Tia Hysell said. “The introduction of these shared mobility devices will help to supplement existing multi-modal options available to support our campus community.”

Bird says it aims to make cities more livable by reducing car trips, traffic and carbon emissions. The company’s scooters, developed by an in-house team of leading engineering and vehicle design experts, also provide a naturally socially distanced way to get around and offer residents without cars another transportation option. 

Austin Marshburn, Director of City and University Partnerships at Bird, said: “We applaud the City of Athens and Ohio University for their commitment to offering convenient, environmentally friendly and reliable transportation options to residents and visitors.”

Bird is proud to offer a number of features and benefits to riders in Athens and at Ohio University. Some of these include:

  • Community Pricing: Bird’s inclusive Community Pricing Program offers a 50% discount to low-income riders, Pell grant recipients, select local nonprofit and community organizations, veterans and senior citizens. Those who qualify can sign up by downloading the Bird app, creating an account and emailing proof of eligibility to
  • Free Rides for Healthcare Workers and Emergency Personnel: To recognize the individuals whose work continues to be so crucial to the health and safety of our communities, Bird offers free rides to healthcare workers and emergency personnel. Those who qualify can sign up by emailing a copy of their medical identification card, name and phone number to Eligible riders receive two free 30-minute rides per day.
  • Community Mode: Bird values community input. Anyone with a Bird account can report or provide feedback on vehicle-related issues such as poorly parked or damaged vehicles in their area by tapping the yield sign on the bottom left of the in-app Bird map. When a report is submitted, someone is assigned to correct the issue.

“We are excited to welcome Bird to Athens and look forward to offering community members a new, eco-friendly and fun way to get around,” said Athens City Service-Safety Director Andy Stone. “We expect the arrival of scooters and e-Bikes to bring economic benefits to our city, with riders more likely to shop at local businesses. But always first and foremost is public safety and the orderliness of the city, and Bird’s permit application indicates they take this seriously and are committed to working with the city and university on these matters going forward.”

August 22, 2022
Staff reports