ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – Electric scooters were placed around St. Louis Thursday morning but the city says the company is operating illegally.
Bird Scooters started popping up around St. Louis Thursday morning. The electric scooters work like Ofo and LimeBike, where users access an app to find out where they are located and then rent them for any amount of time. Riders must have a valid driver's license and confirm they are older than 18. All riders are also required to consent to a safety agreement.
The scooters, which are dockless and use GPS, cost $1 plus 15 cents for every minute of use. They can go up to 15 mph and last about 15 miles on a charge.
Exactly where the scooters will be placed is unknown but you can use their app to find one near you. Bird said their scooters should not be ridden on the sidewalk but should be ridden in the bike lanes and on the street. Also, the company lists the Gateway Arch grounds as a "no ride zone."
Each night, the scooters are picked up for charging, storage and any necessary repairs. They are then parked at conveniently-located "nests" in the morning.
Hours after the scooters were spotted around the area, St. Louis City officials told News 4 Bird does not have a permit, which means they are operating illegally. City officials also said Bird had not discussed launching the scooters in St. Louis but they are now talking with the company to figure out what to do next. According to officials, there is a chance the scooters could be removed "immediately."
St. Louis currently has a bike share ordinance for LimeBike and Ofo. There is an amendment that could apply to scooters, which city officials said could be voted and approved by next week.
Bird later released the following statement:In partnership with the city of St. Louis, we have agreed to remove all Birds from the city until scooters are added to the city’s dockless vehicle program next week. We are in close communication with local officials and are working together on our permit application, and we look forward to relaunching in St. Louis next week.Click here to find out more details about Bird.
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