Press Releases

Following passage of SB 312, Birmingham looks to expand shared micromobility options

PRESS RELEASE                                                       Friday, May 31, 2019

Contact: Cody Owens

Phone: 205-254-2036

Cell: 205-317-1121

cody.owens@birminghamal.gov

Birmingham wants rentable electric scooters and bicycles, and so the city has advocated for enabling legislation from the state. We are excited that the Alabama State Legislature has passed SB 312 and forwarded this bill to Governor Ivey for signature. This legislation allows Alabama municipalities and counties to authorize the operation of shared micromobility device systems.

Micromobility devices include scooters, bicycles, trikes, and other personal devices. Shared micromobility device systems provide users with short-term rentals, whether or not the system includes docking stations.

In an effort spearheaded by Councilor Darrell O’Quinn and supported by REV Birmingham and Shipt, the City of Birmingham is now drafting an ordinance that provides a clear permitting process for companies that wish to introduce shared micromobility device systems on our streets.

Birmingham led the way on micromobility by introducing North America’s first electric pedal-assist bicycles in the Zyp Bikeshare system. This public-private partnership has proven that there is demand for a shared-use system with over 50,000 rides taken to date. Now, five years later, we are shifting to a competitive, market-driven approach that can take full advantage of this rapidly innovating industry.

The City of Birmingham seeks to improve the quality of life of our residents by expanding mobility options and increasing our freedom of movement. In addition to creating a clear channel for entry into the market, the City seeks to become an attractive destination for mobility tech companies by making accommodations in the built environment such as protected bike lanes and on-street parking for shared-use devices in order to prevent sidewalk clutter. Further, the City will prioritize companies with community engagement plans and discount programs for low-income residents so that everyone can benefit from new modes of transportation.

This press release was written by Christopher Tyler Burks, policy analyst for the District 5 office