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Scooters launching soon in downtown Vicksburg

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Mayor George Flaggs Jr. shows off a Blue Duck scooter. (photo by Kami May)

Vicksburg will have a fleet of scooters for visitors and residents to rent in the downtown area beginning in less than two weeks.

San Antonio-based Blue Duck partnered with the City of Vicksburg to roll out Mississippi’s first fleet of shared electric scooters under new legislation recently signed by Gov. Tate Reeves. The company’s scooters will launch in Vicksburg Thursday, Sept. 17.

Last fall, Vicksburg city officials and Blue Duck initiated discussions to explore the possibility of bringing micromobility to downtown Vicksburg. At that time, state law did not permit the operation of electric scooters on public streets. Blue Duck representatives worked closely with city staff to draft a local ordinance permitting the use of electric scooters in Vicksburg, pending the authorization from the state that the governor has now signed.

“Vicksburg will be the first in the state of Mississippi to have electric scooters available to our residents and visitors,” said Mayor George Flaggs, Jr. “We selected Blue Duck Scooters because of their commitment to safety and operating responsibly. They have been working very closely with the city to do this right. These scooters will be good for tourism and for attracting millennials downtown.”

“This legislation marks a new era for shared micromobility in the state of Mississippi. Blue Duck is proud to partner with Vicksburg as the city leads the way, introducing e-scooters to residents and visitors alike,” said Megan McNamara, Blue Duck’s senior director of partnerships. “We know other cities across Mississippi will follow in Vicksburg’s footsteps and we are eager to collaborate with them to guide those initiatives.”

Blue Duck will hire a local operations team and operate its scooters out of a local warehouse. The Blue Duck team will monitor scooter use continuously, and will be out in the field, inspecting scooters, removing any devices that need maintenance or charging. They will also be sanitizing the scooters at least twice a day.

Jeff Mangold, Blue Duck’s co-founder and senior director of fleet management, said “Blue Duck has implemented enhanced cleaning protocols to help combat the coronavirus. Scooters are sanitized daily to protect the health and safety of the community. As businesses reopen and regular activities resume, scooters provide a transportation option that allows people to maintain physical distancing measures.”

Initially operating in areas of downtown designated by city officials, Blue Duck’s scooters will be available to rent from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week. Riders will download the Blue Duck app from Apple’s App Store or Google Play and use their mobile phones to locate and unlock scooters. Each Blue Duck scooter is equipped with GPS technology, which allows for geo-fencing to prevent them from being operated or parked in prohibited zones.

A news conference and launch event will take place Sept. 17 at 9 a.m. at the Vicksburg Convention Center, 1600 Briggs Hopson Boulevard in Vicksburg.

The proposed area for Blue Duck scooters. (image from the City of Vicksburg)

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