Bird scooters have landed in Milwaukee

Posted at 4:30 PM, Jun 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-28 17:34:41-04

UPDATE: The City Attorney's office has advised residents that Bird Scooters are not legal to ride on sidewalks or streets - see updated legal guidance here.

Downtown Milwaukee is now home to a fleet of electric scooters, accessible by your smartphone. 

It’s a public ride sharing program called “Bird.” The name labeled right on the scooter. 

Through the Bird smartphone app, riders can find a scooter and put in their credit card information to buy a ride. It costs $1 to start each ride plus $0.15 cents per minute following. The scooters go up to 15 mph, and they last about 15 miles on a charge.

There are several rules riders need to follow. Click here to read them.

Unlike others, riders don’t have to drop off these scooters at a designated spot. Instead, they are encouraged to park them out of the way of public pathways and on a bike rack if available. 

Each night, the scooters are picked up for charging or repair. 

Construction worker, Mike Zoltak, tried one out Wednesday. 

“I think they are very interesting, especially during Summerfest, it’s a great idea,” said Zoltak. 

Other cities have seen some safety issues with the scooters. In California, a mother and daughter were hurt riding them. They weren’t wearing helmets, which the company highly urges riders to wear. 

Milwaukee Alderman Tony Zielinski said safety has to be a priority. 

“Assuming we have the safety measures addressed, I think it’s something we’re trying here,” Zielinski said. 

Zielinski said he’s looking into whether the company went through the proper channels to operate a business in the city. 

A Bird spokesperson told TODAY'S TMJ4: “Bird has submitted the necessary paperwork to operate as a business in Milwaukee. We work closely with the all of the cities in which we operate and look forward to doing so in Milwaukee so that Bird is a reliable and affordable transportation option.”