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Bird to temporarily remove electric scooters in Cleveland

August 21, 2018

Bird to temporarily remove electric scooters in Cleveland

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Bird electric scooters dropped into Cleveland overnight 11 days ago will be temporarily taken out of the city, a company official said Tuesday.

The move comes after Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson ordered that Bird remove the scooters from the city because of safety concerns.

“We are voluntarily pausing our operations in Cleveland,” according to an emailed statement from the company. “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 drops dozens of the electric scooters without warning in cities across the country, including in Cleveland on Aug. 10. The scooters are unlocked via an app and costs 15 cents per minute of use.

The scooters can go 15 miles on a single charge and the company requires riders to wear a helmet, though there’s no one to enforce that.

The scooters immediately caused controversy in Cleveland.

Cleveland State University on Monday banned the scooters on campus. They confiscated three scooters and said they would only release them to company officials.

Significant injuries in Bird scooter crashes have been reported in Nashville, San Diego and Indianapolis since May.

But proponents say the scooters provide an energy-efficient, cheap alternative to traditional transportation in cities.

McCormack, the Cleveland City Councilman— whose ward includes downtown, Ohio City and Tremont, where most of the scooters were originally dropped — previously told the Plain Dealer the city should take an open-minded approach to the scooters.

Linda Krecic, the spokeswoman for the Greater Cleveland RTA, previously said the scooters could complement the city’s existing public transportation in the first and last mile from bus or rapid stops.

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