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Alpena natives launch electric scooter business

News Photo by Crystal Nelson Sherry Garlanger, co-owner of Ship@Bay, cleans her company’s rentable electric Segway scooters on Wednesday in the Alpena Furniture parking lot.

ALPENA — Two Alpena natives are the driving force behind a fleet of Segway electric scooters recently made available in Alpena.

Jesse Muszynski and Sherry Garlanger, born and raised in Alpena, decided to start Ship@Bay after seeing a need for people to have transportation to get to work or for tourists who need a way to travel the city.

“We knew our community could benefit,” Sherry Garlanger said. “People can get to work, tour the city, or just get out of the house.”

Garlanger said the business launched on June 30, although there were concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. Garlanger said they waited until Gov. Gretchen Whitmer lifted her pandemic-related order that Michiganders stay home unless absolutely necessary.

Users will find a bottle of hand sanitizer on each scooter, and staff visit the scooters multiple times each day to clean them.

There are currently 12 scooters in the fleet, but Garlanger said eight more are on their way. The company set the top speed of the scooters at 15 miles per hour.

The scooters can be rented from four locations, including the Waters Edge Motel at 1000 State Ave., near the intersection of 1st Avenue and Chisholm Street, in the parking lot next to Alpena Furniture on 2nd Avenue, and next to New Wave Salon, 1069 N. Bagley St.

The electric scooters can be rented from 6 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on weekdays and 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends.

Riders must be at least 18 years old, have a driver’s license, and have a helmet to rent the scooters. Only one person can ride the electric scooter at a time. If a user is without a helmet, Garlanger said, the company will provide a helmet if the user calls them.

The scooters can be rented with a credit card after downloading the Segway Pass app and entering some information. Once the information is loaded, users will be prompted to scan a QR code — like a bar code — and the segway is ready to ride.

According to the app, it costs $1 to unlock the scooters and 20 cents per minute to ride them. There’s also a $10 parking surcharge and a $10 surcharge if the scooters are taken out of a GPS-defined zone.

The Segway Pass app can help locate a Segway, navigate a route, and arrive and park safely.

Users with concerns can contact the business by calling 989-255-4955 or at shipnbay@gmail.com.

Crystal Nelson can be reached at 989-358-5687 or cnelson@thealpenanews.com.

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