Bird scooter company ‘voluntarily pausing’ operations in Cleveland

 

The electric scooter-sharing service Bird is "pausing operations" in Cleveland.

Bird released the following statement regarding the scooters on Tuesday:

“We are voluntarily pausing our operations in Cleveland. However, we have had productive conversations with Councilman Kerry McCormack and community members, and are hopeful that we will be able to collaborate with the City on their permitting process so that Bird can be a reliable, affordable, and environmentally friendly transportation option for the community.”

Bird kicked off its pilot program Aug. 10 with a fleet of dock-free, low-speed scooters. The company at the time released the following statement:

“We look forward to testing our affordable transportation option with the people and communities of Cleveland, as they recognize the need for an accessible and reliable transit system."

In a message addressed to Bird Rides Inc., earlier this month, Cleveland's law director ordered all scooters be removed from the public right of way which includes, streets sidewalks and other public property the night of Aug. 10. According to the law director, there were no permits for the scooters placed throughout the city.

Cleveland State University on Monday informed their students that the scooters were unauthorized on campus and that they were requesting "immediate removal" by Bird.

The service works through the Bird smart phone app, where riders can locate scooters. Rides start at $1, plus $0.15 a minute. They got a maximum of 15 mph, last 15 miles on a charge and are only available during the day. The scooters are intended for bike lanes and streets, not sidewalks.

Users must provide a valid driver’s license, and be 18 and over.

Bird already operates in more than 20 cities across the country, including Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio.

"My hopes is that everyone will come to the table in good faith and have these negotiations and kind of iron out some guidelines here," said Ward 3 Cleveland Councilman Kerry McCormack. "If that doesn't happen then we'll look at other ways, whether it's legislation or not to ensure that we can promote other alternate ways of transportation in Cleveland."

Continuing coverage here.