Bird is the Word September 20

Arkansas Tech University Student Government Association will host an introductory event for Bird Scooters on campus from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 20, at Hindsman Tower.

Representatives from Bird will be available to give scooter demonstrations and distribute free helmets to ATU students.

ATU became the first institution of higher learning in Arkansas to partner with electric scooter provider Bird and bring a fleet of shared scooters to its campus when it announced the agreement on Aug. 27.

As part of Bird’s University Pop-Up Tour, Bird will be the only low-speed, dock-free electric scooter company providing environmentally friendly transportation to ATU students in Russellville. The scooters can be located and accessed via the Bird smartphone app. It is anticipated that the scooters will arrive at ATU by the end of September.

The effort to bring the scooters to Arkansas Tech was led by the ATU Student Government Association and its 2018-19 president, senior Jayson Simmons of Little Rock.

“After living in Washington, D.C., all summer and seeing the impact that Bird scooters had on transportation and even the community, I knew that I wanted to incorporate them into the Arkansas Tech campus and community,” said Simmons, who served as an intern in the office of Sen. Tom Cotton during summer 2018. “The Student Government Association is excited about this exclusive partnership and to be able to give students a new tool for transportation as well as leisure.”

A statement from Bird indicated that the company will partner with ATU to “work with campus police, local officials and student groups to enable electric scooters to reduce the number of car trips on campus while providing a new, accessible and clean transportation option for students.”

Founded in 2017 by Travis VanderZanden, Bird is headquartered in Venice, Calif. Bird has distributed more than 40,000 helmets in the more than 50 communities that have launched the service.

“Arkansas Tech University wants to provide its students with a smart transportation option that curbs traffic and reduces climate emissions, and that’s what Bird can do,” said Stephen Schnell, chief operating officer at Bird. “We look forward to helping ATU students get where they need to go quickly and easily.”

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