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Spin scooters see 3,600 rides since December launch

Spin scooters see 3,600 rides since December launch

February 5th, 2019 by Nicole Roberts in Local News

Jefferson City High School friends Jacob Wells, left, Gunnar See spent an afternoon in early January riding Spin scooters around town and Wilson's Serenity Point at Noren Access. There have been 3,678 rides by more than 1,440 users since the scooters launched in December.

Photo by Julie Smith /News Tribune.

Despite the winter weather, there have been more than 3,600 rides since the new rental scooters' December launched in Jefferson City.

Bike-share company Skinny Labs Inc. — known as Spin — launched 75 electric scooters Dec. 1.

Justin Rains, who deploys the scooters every morning and picks them up at night, told the Jefferson City Council on Monday there have been 3,678 rides since the scooters launched. More than 1,440 users have used the scooters, he added.

"The demand is everywhere," he said. "If we have the usage here, (Spin is) more than willing to bring them here."

In the future, Rains said he would like to see 200 scooters in Jefferson City.

The scooters travel up to 15 miles per hour, and drivers must ride them on the roads and greenways since they are considered vehicles.

The scooters are not deployed when the temperature is below freezing, Rains said.

Spin also launched 75 bicycles in July 2018. Spin and the city saw the number of bike rides steadily decrease between August and December, which Spin representatives and Ashley Varner, healthy communities coordinator for Capital Region Medical Center, attributed to the cooling weather.

The bicycles and scooters are GPS-enabled and dockless, so riders can pick up and drop them off anywhere in the city limits. They can also locate the bicycles and scooters using the mobile app.

If someone has a complaint regarding where the scooters or bicycles are located, they can contact Spin through its mobile application or contact Amy Schroeder, community relations manager for the Jefferson City Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department, at ASchroeder@jeffcitymo.org.

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Riders can download Spin's mobile app, enter their credit card information and pay as they ride. Riders pay $1 to unlock the scooters and 15 cents for every subsequent minute. Riders pay $1 for 30 minutes to use the bicycles.

The city also offers Spin Access to those without a smartphone or credit or debit card. With Spin Access, riders can purchase cards at The Linc, 1299 Lafayette St., scratch off the card's code and text the code to a number to unlock the bicycles and scooters.

Schroeder said she plans to meet with the Jefferson City Police Department to hear if they have received any feedback regarding the bicycles, scooters and public safety.

Last spring, the Jefferson City Parks and Recreation Commission signed a one-year, zero-cost contract with Spin. The contract was of zero cost to the city since Spin receives funding from private venture capital and operating revenue from other markets. Ford Motor Company also purchased Spin.

Jefferson City and CRMC are not liable for damages or injuries from the bike-share program, Varner said previously.

In other business Monday, the City Council heard two bills that would authorize the city to vacation the 500 block of Union Street and easements along that section of the street.

The vacation is in accordance with a development agreement between the city and Jefferson City Public Schools that the council approved last month.

Under the agreement, the city will use funds from itself and Cole County to reimburse JCPS up to $1.5 million to construct a street adjacent to Capital City High School that would connect Creek Trail and Mission drives.

If the project is less than $1.5 million, the agreement states, the district will use the remaining funds to improve Lewis and Clark Drive or Union Street, or construct enhanced crosswalks on Linden Drive at South Elementary School or Jackson Street at Thorpe Gordon Elementary School.

Along with vacationing a portion of Union Street, the city will also vacate Lewis and Clark Drive at Lewis and Clark Middle School, according to the agreement. The city plans to transfer ownership of the streets to JCPS.

Also Monday, the council heard Missouri American Water Company's request to rezone 8.49 acres at 311 and 320 Hoover Road from a Planned Unit Development to M-1 Light Industrial. The request also includes amending the Development Plan Map in the city's Comprehensive Plan to reflect the rezoning changes.

The company plans to relocate its current facility at 906 W. High St. to the Hoover Road location.

The council also approved a $210,823 consultant contract with Donohue and Associates, Inc. to upgrade the Westview pump station and evaluate basin 10.

The City Council initially approved an agreement with Donohue & Associates Inc. in December, but the company declined to sign the agreement and requested modifications, such as substituting "contractor" for "consultant" and adding a line that states Donohue & Associates will send a monthly bill to the city and the city will submit payment within 30 days.