OKLAHOMA CITY – Bird Scooters are flying the OKC coop.
The electric scooter company has said so long to Oklahoma City streets via their app.
“OKC, we had a good ride. Goodbyes are no fun. Thank you for believing in our vision of a world with fewer cars and cleaner air. We’re working hard to see you again soon.”
News 4 reached out to Bird, who sent us this statement:
“Bird has been working hard to collaborate with Oklahoma City officials so that together we could establish common sense rules for the deployment of e-scooters in the city. Unfortunately, the framework city officials have provided will make it impossible to efficiently provide our service, and so we have made the difficult decision to withdraw from Oklahoma City for the time being. Our mission is to work with cities to help them reduce traffic congestion and carbon emissions in their communities. We hope to one day do the same for the people of Oklahoma City, and will look for opportunities to return in the future.”
Oklahoma City officials responded to Bird’s departure with this statement:
“Bird and Lime were at the table when OKC introduced the rental scooter ordinance. Permits and licenses are required anytime businesses intend to use the public’s right of way – scooter companies are no exception. We believe our ordinance protects the public interest and is fair to businesses that enter our market.”
They did not mention the reason for leaving the area, however, in August, city leaders in Oklahoma City approved an ordinance that put rules in place for electric scooter companies.
The ordinance would require companies to have revocable permits defining the areas where they would park the scooters each day before 7 a.m. The city also has the right to require the licensee to use GPS technology creating a virtual boundary, which would prevent the scooters from being used in prohibited areas.
However, officials say an ordinance for riders was already in place.
- Riders can’t use a scooter on a sidewalk or trail. Bike lanes and streets are OK.
- Riders must follow normal traffic rules, like stopping at stop lights and stop signs.
- Riders must always yield to pedestrians. Watch for pedestrians coming out of buildings or from between parked cars.
- Riders are encouraged to park the scooters close to the curb, or next to a bike rack. Please don’t block the sidewalk, especially in places that would make it difficult for a person with disabilities to use the sidewalk.
- Riders are encouraged to follow guidelines and instructions from the scooter business.