In addition to our normal news coverage, What Now Atlanta is tracking ways Atlanta’s businesses are adapting to the novel coronavirus and the challenges it brings to brick-and-mortars.
Electronic, app-run scooters, have resurfaced on the streets of Atlanta, with a newcomer: Spin from the Ford Motor Company. Spin this week launched operations in the City deploying its e-scooters along the Atlanta BeltLine and in Midtown, the Westside, and other “frequented areas around the city,” according to a press release.
“As part of its partnership with the City, Spin will deploy 500 scooters and scale up its fleet to as many as 1,500 to match demand,” a spokesperson in an email told What Now Atlanta. “In light of its launch celebrations across the City, Spin will waive the unlock fee for riders, as well as announce a new partnership with Civil Bikes that will bring increased cultural awareness of Georgia voting landmarks to riders. Through the Spin app, riders can sign up and view the map to find the nearest scooter, as well as access information on how to Spin safely.”
Civil Bikes, founded by Atlanta native Nedra Deadwyler, offers cultural tours of Atlanta, “bringing attention to unseen and unheard stories in a unique and accessible way that creatively builds a just community and inspires action.” Spin’s partnership with Civil Bikes will create a new virtual tour for riders across the city that pays homage to different voting sites around the Atlanta area, including the black churches, social institutions, political organizations, and businesses of Sweet Auburn Avenue on the city’s east side, and the area of historically black colleges and universities near the AUC.
In mid-March, several e-scooter companies like Bird took their equipment off the streets to slow the spread of COVID-19, and have since re-deployed their equipment. Spin is implementing additional safety precautions, such as requiring its employees to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) including gloves, face shields or safety glasses and cloth masks.
“When outside using an e-scooter, Spin encourages riders to wear cloth masks, use a disinfectant wipe on the handlebars, wash their hands before and after riding or wear gloves as an extra precaution.”
[Editor’s note 1: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Civil Bikes is a nonprofit. The company is actually an LLC.
[Editor’s note 2: The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is rapidly evolving as is its effect on Atlanta, and the City’s businesses and its residents. Click here for What Now Atlanta’s ongoing coverage of the crisis. For guidance and updates on the pandemic, please visit the C.D.C. website.]