Electric Scooters Appear in Cambridge and Somerville Thanks to New App

New app allows rentals of shared electric scooters, but officials in Cambridge and Somerville were not aware before the scooters started showing up on streets

The electric scooters from a company called Bird have arrived in the Massachusetts cities of Cambridge and Somerville, and they're already catching on.

Dave Kealey read about it online, so he found the closest one to ride home.

"It's great," said Kealey. "A lot of fun. But it's fast, faster than you think."

To rent a scooter, you can simply download the Bird app. Your phone will show you where you'll find one, and you than use your phone to unlock it.

The cost is $1 to rent, and 15 cents a minute.

"You literally can go anywhere," said Paul Pires, who rented one of the scooters Friday. "It beats traffic. It gets you places faster. I think people will use it for work."

One problem, though, is that the scooters just showed up Friday with no agreement with local municipalities.

"I have mixed feelings," said Cambridge City Councilor Quinton Zondervan. "We do need to regulate it and control it."

Zondervan says the city will have to figure out how to handle the issue, especially because Cambridge has an exclusive agreement with a bike company.

"I think it's a good thing for the city, but it will change the way people are moving around the city a lot," said Kealey.

The company did not return a request for comment.

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