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Gov. Walker open to Bird scooters remaining in Milwaukee

Posted at 4:40 PM, Jul 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-17 09:42:13-04

Gov. Scott Walker said he is open to working with the company that dropped off about 100 electric scooters in Milwaukee late last month. 

The city attorney is suing Bird Ridesin federal court because it believes the scooters are illegal under state statute. 

In a statement, Bird said the scooters are becoming popular among Milwaukeeans. 

“Bird scooters help cities meet their ambitious goals of reducing carbon emissions and addressing the ever present car traffic crisis,” a Bird spokesperson said. “The people of Milwaukee have enthusiastically adopted this new mode of transportation, and there is a strong demand for Bird throughout the city. We look forward to working with the city to create and enforce common sense rules encouraging the safe use of our sustainable transportation option.”

The spokesperson did not say if Bird had dropped off any more scooters in Milwaukee since the initial batch. 

Riders like Dylan Ramsey said they think the scooters have become a popular way to get around neighborhoods like the Third Ward and Walker’s Point. 

“We’ve seen tons of people on them,” Ramsey said. 

Since the city believes that only state lawmakers have the authority to allow Bird to operate legally in Milwaukee, TODAY’S TMJ4 spoke with Walker about the possibility after he made an economic development announcement at Quad Graphics in Sussex on Monday. 

Walker said he’s open to working with Bird. 

“I think that’s something we’d look at - we have to work with the state legislature on that,” Walker said.

“We want to have many different opportunities and sometimes it’s a simple question of interpretation,” Walker also said. “So whether it’s a law change or they need an opinion from the state - via the Attorney General - we’re willing to work with them or any other company.” 

A spokesperson for the Attorney General said he would only weigh in with an opinion on whether the scooters are legal if asked to do so by state lawmakers, the City of Milwaukee, or a state agency like the Department of Transportation.