Without Permit, Oklahoma City Plans To Impound Bird Electric Scooters
The Oklahoma City Council approved an ordinance on Tuesday to impound the Bird electric scooters beginning Monday, August 20th, if the company fails to file a revocable permit with the city.
The rental service dropped off dozens of electric scooters in downtown OKC without notice two weeks ago. The scooters are being parked and rented on public right-of-ways, in violation of city ordinances.
Matt Ball, a spokesperson for Bird, attended Tuesday’s city council meeting. He says the company was willing to work with the city to get the permit needed and also work to create a more permanent solution for the scooters.
"We're currently in the process of resubmitting a revocable permit application for the public works director," Ball said. “We have been working with the city and have enjoyed those conversations and hope to be as collaborative as humanly possible going forward.”
However, Ward 2 councilman Ed Shadid told Ball he didn't think Bird was willing to work with the city.
"I think Bird deserves a public rebuke for these tactics," Shadid said. "I don't think [Bird] has been working with us, and [Bird] has a long track record of doing this to municipalities throughout the country."
Bird operates scooters in 29 other cities around the country, facing legal trouble in at least 3 of them.
OKC Mayor David Holt says city officials were working with other vendors to address the issue when Bird dropped off their scooters.
Re: scooters (thread)— Mayor David Holt (@davidfholt) August 13, 2018
OKC has been working on an ordinance for some time, in consultation with a vendor who had approached us. Meanwhile, a different vendor came in w/o notice and in violation of ordinances written to protect all who use our sidewalks (pedestrians, disabled, etc)
Holt expects the law to change, but says Bird should have acquired revocable permits to be able to place their scooters in public right-of-ways.
If Bird does not file for a revocable permit, the city also plans to charge to company $100 an hour for collecting the scooters and $5 per day, per scooter for storing them.
Watch the discussion of electric scooters below, beginning at the 1:27:49 mark: