GREAT BEND, Kan. (KSNW) – A new mode of transportation is rolling into Great Bend. but it isn’t a plane, train, or automobile, it’s a scooter.
Last year, before COVID hit, Matt Hiss and his wife traveled to Austin, Texas. While exploring the city, they stumbled upon electric scooters and it planted an idea in their mind.
Coming from a small community, the scooters were a new experience for the Hiss’. They say it was a fun and inexpensive way to get around. So when an ad for Bird Scooters popped up, they thought why not bring the business to Great Bend?
“The first chance we had to potentially bring them, we jumped on it,” said Matt Hiss, Fleet Manager.
When approached about the idea of bringing scooters to Great Bend, the city gave the nod of approval. “We’re excited to know that we fit in with those larger cities and you don’t have to, you don’t have to go to the Kansas Cities of the world to enjoy some of those amenities,” said Kendal Francis, Great Bend City Administrator.
Matt partnered with his brother Mason and started the small, family business, GB Scooter Club. “It is an exciting thing just to be able to change up the atmosphere and bring something new in and giving it a try,” said Mason Hiss, Fleet Manager and Mechanic.
The scooters are dubbed as electric vehicles working to cut back on carbon dioxide emissions. The machines work like many others in large cities with an app and QR code. “These scooters work great because we can scale them up as big as the community can handle and then just provide something that is unique and fun,” said Matt.
The business plans to place 50 scooters around the city, from areas like downtown to the local grocery store. The scooters will be required to ride in the streets and obey the rules of the road.
The owners say the community has been supportive along the way and they’re excited to bring a new and innovative service to the community. “It’s been a pipe dream for years, thinking that we could ever have something like this in Great Bend, and then actually seeing them on the ground and out on the streets, it’s really awesome,” said Matt.
The shipment of scooters arrived Thursday and the owners look to have 25 scooters out and ready to ride for the weekend.