Electric scooters in Fort Walton Beach getting a big upgrade, rides to work up 40%

Bird sees approximately 50 rides per day in Fort Walton Beach

Back in September 2021, the Fort Walton Beach City Council unanimously agreed to permanently allow motorized e-scooters, and other micro-mobility devices, to operate within the City of Fort Walton Beach.

  • Bird Scooters is currently the only scooter company operating in the city.
  • During the pilot program, the city only received one complaint about the scooters. According to Frassetti, the complaint was about a scooter that was parked in front of a residential property.
  • Since then, zero safety incidents.

Now, roughly 9 months later, the Bird scooters can be seen all over the city with residents using them to get to-and-from work or travel around town during heavy traffic. In fact, Bird sees approximately 50 rides per day in Fort Walton Beach.

With all the use and popularity, Bird has decided to upgrade to a newer model. 

  • 70 new scooters were delivered on Monday, April 19th, and will be dispersed throughout the city beginning today, April 21st. 

“The newer models are the Bird3 and are slightly larger, more powerful, and have a longer battery life,” said John Reece, Fleet Manager in Fort Walton Beach. 

Reece says that, initially, most ride were between neighborhoods and Downtown Fort Walton Beach. However, in the last two months, there has been a sharp increase (almost 40%) in rides from neighborhoods to business fronts and then return trips from those same locations. 

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“I was probably the fiercest opponent of this pilot program when it first launched,” said FWB Council-member Nic Allegretto. “But at the same time, the majority of people that I’ve seen riding these are not riding them for pleasure. I see a lot of people going to work on these things. If that’s an opportunity to offer one of our residents the ability to get back and fourth to a job, that’s a big deal.”

As for future growth, Reece says that by the end of 2022 he expects the fleet size to increase from 70 to over 100 scooters. 

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