Saint Paul asks Bird to remove scooters -- for now

Saint Paul asks Bird to remove Scooters from the Public Right-of-Way, for now
City is excited about the possibilities of shared use scooters, but roll out of new service needs to be handled safely and responsibly

Saint Paul, MN (July 10, 2018) – The City of Saint Paul Department of Public Works today asked Bird, an electric scooter rental service, to remove their scooters from the city’s public Right-of-Way (ROW) until a framework can be created for their deployment. The company placed a number of the scooters in Saint Paul within the ROW in violation of a city ordinance which requires a permit for any use of the public space.

“We are really excited about the possibilities of new, innovative, shared methods of getting around,” said Kathy Lantry, Public Works Director. “However, we need to be thoughtful about how these new options are placed and used.”

ROW permits are required in Saint Paul for anyone who seeks to have equipment and facilities located on or within public space such as streets or sidewalks. Permit applications are reviewed by Public Works staff to ensure that use of the space is handled in a safe and responsible manner.

After a request for proposals earlier this year, Public Works has been in discussions with a shared use, dock-less bicycle provider to develop a structure to handle the safety, compliance, and public nuisance issues presented by mobility methods without a defined start and stop location. It is anticipated that the new framework related to shared, dock-less bicycles will inform other shared use vehicles that wish to use the city’s ROW.

“Saint Paul would like to work with e-scooter vendors and the community to define the structure for scooter use in our city,” said Russ Stark, Mayor Carter’s Chief Resilience Officer. “We have asked Bird to remove their scooters in the interim.”

Following a conversation with city officials this afternoon, Bird has indicated that they will review the City’s request.

###