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Vicksburg to become first city in Mississippi to offer app-based electric scooter rentals



(Photo courtesy Blue Duck)

Blue Duck, a San Antonio-based micromobility company operating in Texas and the Southeastern U.S., will partner 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 on the streets of downtown Vicksburg 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. A local ordinance was drafted permitting the use of electric scooters in Vicksburg, pending the authorization from the state that the governor has now signed.

“On Thursday, Sept. 17, Vicksburg will become the first city in the State of Mississippi to offer app-based electric scooter rentals,” said Mayor George Flaggs Jr. in a statement. “In Vicksburg, we’ve taken a fundamentally different approach to allowing a scooter company to operate in our city. We’ve worked closely with only one company – Blue Duck – to allow scooter use in a portion of downtown between the hours of 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Each Blue Duck scooter is equipped with GPS technology, which prevents the scooters from being operated or parked in prohibited zones. Additionally, this company has agreed to hire employees to deploy, collect and maintain its scooters all at no cost to city government. Hopefully, this will be one more amenity that will encourage people to choose Vicksburg.”

“This legislation marks a new era for shared micromobility in the state of Mississippi,” said Megan McNamara, Blue Duck’s senior director of partnerships.

“Blue Duck is proud to partner with Vicksburg as the city leads the way, introducing e-scooters to residents and visitors alike. We know other cities across Mississippi will follow in Vicksburg’s footsteps, and we are eager to collaborate with them to guide those initiatives,” she added.

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.

“Blue Duck has implemented enhanced cleaning protocols to help combat the coronavirus,” said Jeff Mangold, Blue Duck’s co-founder and senior director of fleet management. “Scooters are sanitized daily in order 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 geofencing 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 intersection of Washington and China Streets in Downtown Vicksburg.

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