Auburn orders scooter company Bird to cease operations

Auburn orders scooter company Bird to cease operations

AUBURN, AL - The City of Auburn is the latest municipality to clip the wings of start-up scooter transportation service Bird after it allegedly landed in the college town without permission.

The app-based alternative transportation company laid an egg with city officials after putting out scooters all around town as part of its University "pop-up" tour.

Now, Auburn officials are issuing a cease operation order against the company with a demand it remove the scooters from rights-of-way until the company obtains the proper licenses.

The city says it plans to meet with Bird officials in the coming week to "discuss an operating and licensing framework that balances the need for multi-modal transportation options with public safety concerns and potential right-of-way obstruction issues possible with the Bird business model."

The service allows users to find an available scooter with a mobile app, unlock it, hop on and travel to their destination, then re-lock it with the app and leave it for the next rider.

Auburn is just the latest in a growing number of cities trying to either regulate or do away with the service.

AL.com reports the City of Birmingham is impounding Bird's scooters and fining the company two weeks after asking they be removed.

A quick check online shows major cities such as Los Angeles, New York, and Richmond sharing similar concerns.

Bird, on its website, has urged its competitors to sign what it calls the "Save Our Sidewalks Pledge" which includes a promise of daily pickup of scooters for inspection and repairs and repositioning of scooters for the next day "so they are not cluttering our neighborhoods".

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