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City extends Bird Scooter trial period

The Bird scooters will be around through at least October. | Photo by Rebekah Alvey

By Kevin Trager | WLKY

Louisville Metro Government on Tuesday extended its trial period agreement with Bird scooters.

Bird scooters first made a Louisville debut July 19 but were quickly removed at the request of the city on July 23. Birds are standing, motorized scooters that can be found and rented through a mobile app. The city gave the company an extension in August to operate in a defined area.

Bird will continue operating 100 scooters through Oct. 8. The scooters run between downtown and the Highlands.

City officials want Bird to take more steps to keep the scooters off sidewalks.

“The biggest piece we want to talk about is safety. That’s kind of been the number one thing we’ve heard from residents. We have heard complaints,” said Develop Louisville Director Jeff O’Brien.

O’Brien said the city has had about 20 official complaints from residents.

Councilman Pat Mulvihill said he’s received several complaints from pedestrians who said they were nearly run over by scooter riders.

“I think they have to step up and say where they can and cannot be ridden, and if that means warnings and then stoppage because you’re on a sidewalk, then so be it,” Mulvihill said.

Mulvihill also said there have been issues with riders blocking sidewalks when they park their scooters.

Through the Bird mobile app, people can find scooters nearby, see how much charge they have and unlock them for use. Once a scooter is unlocked, users must give the scooter a little kick-start by pushing off on the ground and then use a lever on the handlebar to adjust the speed for the rest of the trip. At the end of the ride, users must relock the scooter with the app.

A ride on a Bird scooter costs $1 to get started and $0.15 per minute. At the end of the day, the scooters are collected and returned to a home base for charging.

Reposted from https://insiderlouisville.com/government/city-extends-bird-scooter-trial-period/

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