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Bird electric scooter firm to pay $10,000 fine to Asheville
Thursday, 02 May 2019 15:37

From Staff Reports

A judge ruled on April 2 in Buncombe County Superior Court that California-based electric scooter company Bird Rides Inc. must pay a $10,000 fine after an unauthorized and massive placement of scooters in downtown Asheville last year.

In the consent judgment issued by Buncombe County Superior Court Judge Alan Thornburg, the court affirmed the City of Asheville’s right to prohibit motorized scooter services from operating in the city without permission.

Specifically, Bird Rides will pay the fine for “‘dropping’ 200 of the unpermitted self-propelled vehicles (in) downtown Asheville in 2018,” Asheville Citizen Times reported.

“Interim City Attorney Sabrina Rockoff and Bird Rides Inc. attorney Philip Anderson agreed to the fine as a way to resolve the legal dispute between the entities,” the ACT noted.

Further, an April 8 city press release stated, “The judgment entered by Superior Court Judge Alan Thornburg provides a final resolution to the lawsuit initiated by the city following Bird Rides’ unauthorized October 2018 deployment of 200 scooters around the City of Asheville.”

Bird did not respond to messages from local news media seeking comment.

The self-propelled stand-up vehicles surged in popularity starting around January 2017. With Bird’s “dockless” rental program scooters are left in various places and customers pay for them through phone apps.

“When they’re finished,” with the scooters, “the customers are supposed to leave them out of the way of public pathways and in bike racks when possible,” the ACT noted. “But some cities said the scooters clutter sidewalks and present a tripping hazard, or worse.”

Meanwhile, Asheville’s WLOS News 13 reported that, “in November, Asheville City Council prohibited the use of e-scooters in the city while the transportation department studied whether to permit the operation of bike and/or scooter share programs in Asheville.

“In February, the City of Asheville surveyed residents about bike and scooter-share options... Of the 328 respondents who participated on the Open City Hall survey, 91 percent did not support the use of electric scooters in the City of Asheville,” WLOS reported.



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