Oct. 11 2018 11:32 AM

Here’s a quick guide on how to use the scooters that have taken over Lansing and East Lansing


    GETTING STARTED

    1. Download Bird or Lime apps or both to track down the nearest scooter.

    2. Enter your debit/credit card details. Bird requires a valid driver’s license.

    Lime offers an “affordability program” so those without smartphones can unlock scooters via text message and purchase discounted ride credits with cash.

    But you have to prove your eligibility. Visit li.me for details.

    HOW DO THEY WORK?

    1. Scan a QR code on the handlebars and press the “unlock” button. (It’ll ping or chirp LOUDLY if you move it first.)

    2. Once aboard, give the ground a few kicks and apply the right-thumb throttle.

    They travel about 15 mph, using lithium-ion batteries. Distance depends largely on battery life and riding conditions.

    Check the battery percentage beforehand!

    The brakes are fixed to the handlebars. You’ll need them for sharp, downhill turns!

    WHERE CAN I RIDE THEM?

    Lansing: Streets out of the way of traffic and sidewalks except in the downtown shopping district. That’s Larch Street on the east, St. Joseph St.on the south, Capitol Avenue on the west and Shiawassee Street on the north. East Lansing: Anywhere, just don’t disrupt car or foot traffic. Michigan State University: Not in bike lanes or sidewalks and only on streets that are limited to 25 MPH.

    HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

    Bird: $1 plus 20 cents per minute.

    Lime: $1 plus 15 cents per minute.

    AND WHEN I’M DONE?

    1. Hop off and leave them on the sidewalk by the curb or another spot not in the way of foot traffic.

    2. Lock it on your phone.

    3. Snap a pic to prove where you left it.

    They can charge a $120 pickup fee for retrieving the scooter from wherever you happen to misplace it.

    HOW ARE THEY CHARGED?

    Both companies offer an opportunity to get paid to collect and charge scooters every night. Visit li.me or bird.co for more details about either program.

    ALSO

    Age: 18 or older. Weight limit: Lime: 300 lbs. Bird: 200 lbs. Balance: Avoid carrying anything. Phone: Like driving anything, it’s not safe on a scooter. Drinking: It’s illegal. Passengers: None. Advice: Stick to pavement. Those already have enough potholes to avoid anyway.