The city of Vicksburg is ready to welcome electric scooters to their town.
According to WLBT, the city is working with scooter company Blue Duck, and has designated a certain area where scooters can be located and a time they can run.
“This is just another tool to make Vicksburg different because we will be the first in the state of Mississippi to have them and this is only a trial, a pilot program for one year,” Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs said.
Electric scooters are just the latest technological development that has been made available to citizens, only to be stymied by local governments. With Vicksburg being an exception.
For some, micromobility is a touristy gimmick. For others, it has helped to solve the first-mile and last-mile gaps.
In the past few years, dozens of scooter and bike companies have sprung up to meet the needs of consumers expanding to many major and midsized communities, along with college towns.
Yet at the same time, scooters have hit some roadblocks with city governments opting to ban the service, often describing it as a nuisance. Essentially, the same treatment ridesharing services received from Mississippi governments not too long ago.
Though scooters are generally designed for urban areas, of which Mississippi has few, residents of midsized communities, particularly college towns, could stand to benefit greatly from local deregulation.
Oxford and Starkville stand out as the most logical destination for scooters.
Students would no longer have to worry about parking or missing a bus to class as scooters or electric bikes could supplement their transportation needs. While scooters have never made it to Oxford, they lasted less than a month in Starkville.
The city brought scooters in on a trial basis, while Mississippi State had a ban in place. Naturally, the confusing laws led many students, the biggest user of scooters, to bring the scooters on to campus, drawing the ire of university officials. Lime, the scooter operator, decided to leave the city as a result. And students were again left without this option.
In larger cities like Jackson or tourist towns along the Coast, the introduction of scooters could radically transform how transportation is thought about. That is what Vicksburg is taking advantage of.
The dangers of scooters are not different than the dangers of any other mode of transportation. There are people who are reckless, whether it’s on a scooter or behind the wheel. We can control bad behavior without punishing everyone else. The government just needs to err on the side of individual liberty and personal responsibility.