Walla Walla goes 'green' on traffic scooter

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A new parking enforcement vehicle has hit the streets of Walla Walla.

The city purchased the 2010 GEM Utility scooter, an all electric "green" vehicle that was about half the cost of the gas three-wheeled scooter that had been in service since 1999, Walla Walla Police officials said.

Kennewick-based Paul Parish Limited submitted the low bid to the city, which came in with tax at $14,059.36, said Police spokesman Tim Bennett.

The top speed is about 25 mph with a range of about 30 miles for 60 cents worth of electricity. The vehicle also reportedly has low maintenance costs compared to a gas-powered vehicle. GEM vehicles, according to the Paul Parish website, operate on a 72-volt battery system and plug into a standard 110-volt outlet so they can be recharged any time in about six to eight hours.

Bennett said the parking enforcement officer often makes her route through the city's two-hour time zones on foot, but also uses the scooter.

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