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Bird scooters banned in two cities, could Milwaukee be next?

Posted at 7:59 PM, Jul 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-20 20:59:12-04

Some cities are not jumping on the bandwagon for the new Bird scooter craze. In fact, St. Paul and St. Louis are removing the scooters altogether.

Bird scooters appeared in cities across the U.S. basically overnight. And as soon as they arrived, they'll be gone. The St. Paul mayor told the Associated Press officials will begin collecting the scooters after midnight Friday. He said the California company Bird Rides, Inc. dropped off 200 scooters without warning on July 10.

St. Louis officials say the business was operating without a required permit and asked them to remove the scooters. Bird Rides, Inc. agreed to remove all scooters from St. Louis on Thursday. However, it may not be goodbye forever. 

The city is holding a policy meeting next week to possibly add dockless scooters to city regulations according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

"We are in favor of these dockless programs, but this company did not go about it in the right way," Koran Addo, spokesperson for St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson told the Post-Dispatch. "They absolutely came in and started operating without a permit. They didn't even reach out to the city until (Thursday) morning."

Bird scooters have caused controversy in many different locations including Milwaukee. Since their arrival to the city in June, the City Attorney's office banned the operation of the scooters on streets and sidewalks in the city of Milwaukee. This ordinance was made one day after the scooter's arrival.

Since then, the Public Works Committee passed a policy that "prohibits the parking of dockless motorized scooters in the city upon the public right-of-way. In addition, this ordinance prohibits the operation of dockless motorized scooter systems in the city."

The ordinance has yet to pass the full common council and be signed into effect by Mayor Tom Barrett. If approved, the city could begin seizing all scooters on public streets and sidewalks the day after the mayor signs it according to Deputy City Attorney Adam Stephens.

Bird scooters are rented using an app. They cost $1 to start a ride and an additional 15 cents per minute after that. They can reach speeds up to 15 mph and remain charged for 15 miles. Scooters are picked up each night for charging or repairs.