Electric scooters zip into downtown

Zipride Shared Mobility now has a presence in downtown Ashland.
Published: Nov. 2, 2021 at 9:05 PM EDT
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ASHLAND, Ky. (WSAZ) - A new business venture has popped up in downtown Ashland, perfect for those looking for a quick, easy ride and don’t want to struggle with parking.

“It supplies a need of convenience for local people to ride around the park, go to Walmart or the mall or all the way down 29th Street,” said Danny Harris, owner of Zipride Shared Mobility.

He got his first taste of electric scooters while visiting Annapolis, Maryland, and knew he wanted to bring them to the tri-state area.

“I thought about Huntington first, but they have a city ordinance against scooters,” Harris said. “I was discouraged there because that’d be a great place really, but Ashland’s great. I’m glad I ended up here.”

An Ashland city ordinance doesn’t allow for scooters on sidewalks, but a Kentucky Revised Statute makes them street legal.

“As long as you use the signals it seemed like the automobiles around me respected that I was there,” said City Commissioner Josh Blanton. “You might get a few looks until people get used to them.”

Blanton lives downtown and has been able to enjoy a ride to the Paramount or some of his other favorite spots. He said the ride is smooth and easy, and even though helmets aren’t required, he went ahead and wore his.

“The safety is key, but obviously we want people downtown,” Blanton said. “We want people to have fun, as long as they’re safe.”

Riders must be 16 years old to participate. All you need to do is download the app and load your payment card.

The scooters have a geofence, which will notify you if you travel outside of the boundaries. Currently, there are about 20 scooters parked downtown.

“The batteries are rechargeable,” Harris said. “I like green technology and how good it is for the environment.”

Scooters cost $1 to unlock and 25 cents per minute. If you need to pause your ride and run into a store or business or complete an errand, you can pause your ride for 10 cents per minute. That way, it will remain reserved for you.

The scooters can reach speeds up to 18 mph and are equipped with a headlight, brakes, throttle and a bell and kickstand.

Picking up and parking electric scooters is available in downtown Ashland on both sides of the sidewalk on Winchester Avenue between 15th and 16th streets.

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