iluna@valleytowncrier.com

EDINBURG - The City of Edinburg and Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) held a community forum for residents’ input on four focused components: image, economic development, transportation/mobility and land use for Edinburg’s 10-year plan.

The forum served as a comprehensive plan update that will follow a six-planned process. This process begins with the: assessment, forums, vision, plan-prep, review and adoption. The forum sought recommendations from residents on what they like to see by the year 2030.

Attendants were put into groups answering trivia questions based on how well they knew the city’s history. The groups were then handed chart paper jotting suggestions to the four component questions.

Questions like ‘What makes Edinburg a good place to live/work?’ and ‘What opportunities do you see for Edinburg to improve as a place to live, work, play and study?’ were asked under the image component as part of the 10-year plan.

The listed suggestions were then turned into TEEX who would “compile all information to help establish the vision in conjunction with the community,” said Lisa Mutchler, TEEX economic and workforce program director.

And to introduce a new transportation/mobility service for the city of Edinburg, was San Antonio-based scooter company, Blue Duck.

“Edinburg will be getting our latest generation scooter, Gen 3 which is the Cadillac of scooters,” said Alec Martinez, Blue Duck government partnerships manager.

Blue Duck scooters will serve as a means of transportation within the city that is fun, accessible and inexpensive said, Martinez. The mobility service works through a Blue Duck app needing a credit/debit card information to unlock the scooters to ride.

It is a one dollar charge to unlock the Gen 3 and 25 cents per minute while riding. A discounted price will be available for college students and military members (active and reserved). A Blue Duck scooter displayed at the forum featured a wide foot base perfect for balancing, lights, built-in shocks and a 15-speed limit. The scooters will launch Dec. 1 and are part of a six-month pilot program.

Designated areas throughout the city will have stations to return and access the scooters from. Data will also be collected depending on where the scooters are riding to and from and will determine if it will be geo-fenced dependent on the data collected, meaning it will not be able to ride in certain areas. A Blue Duck team is said to collect the scooters three times a day to distribute and balance the mobile rides around the city.

Blue Duck’s initiative to become part of the Valley noticed how expensive car payments were in 2018, estimating at a total of $600 a month. The micro-mobility company also shared the poverty rate along the border is 35% in which “a lot of people can’t afford cars or that families are having to share one car,” adds Martinez.

Blue Duck has already expanded into the city of Laredo and Bryan, Texas.

There will be two more opportunities to suggest improvements in the city of Edinburg at the following community forums taking place Nov. 21 and Dec.18 with a time and location to be announced.