A new e-scooter company launched in Detroit with a 'community-first' mission

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The neon yellow LINK e-scooters are now available in Detroit. - STEVE NEAVLING
  • Steve Neavling
  • The neon yellow LINK e-scooters are now available in Detroit.

Yet another e-scooter company has entered the Detroit market — but this one says it's a little different than the others.

Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company Superpedestrian launched its LINK service in Detroit on Friday, with 300 neon yellow scooters deployed at city-designated parking locations throughout the city.



According to the company, its service is different because it focuses on "inter-neighborhood access and connections to local transit including DDOT bus routes." The company also says it "integrates community-first practices into all aspects of its business, including bringing good-paying jobs."

"Superpedestrian focuses on employing workers as W2 employees rather than as gig workers, a marked divergence from the industry," the company says in a statement. "Superpedestrian will work with leading community organizations to give job opportunities to Detroit residents from disadvantaged backgrounds. Additionally, through the LINK-Up program, Detroit community members receiving local, state, or federal assistance qualify for reduced trip fare."



Detroit is the first Michigan city that the scooters are available.

"We're not just bringing Detroit the world's safest and smartest e-scooter, we're bringing a commitment to hire locally and treat workers fairly," Superpedestrian VP of operations William Knapp said in a statement. "Those are Detroit values and we will live by them. We look forward to serving the people of Detroit, while working with City leaders and community partners to educate riders on safety, while offering a sustainable and affordable mode of transportation for everyone."

Riders must be 18 years or older with a valid government ID. To ride, download the LINK app from the iOS and Android app stores. Rides cost a $1 unlock fee and 39 cents per minute after that.

The company says accommodations can be made for riders without smartphones or credit cards, and through its LINK-Up program, Detroit community members receiving local, state, or federal assistance will qualify for a 70 percent discount on rides.

The company says it will host safety workshops and free helmet distribution for residents, and that it's also offering free scooter rides to COVID-19 vaccination appointments.

More information is available at link.city/detroit.

E-scooters came to Detroit in 2018 starting with the companies Bird and Lime, with others following suit.

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