Charleston votes to ban motorized scooters after 'Bird' scooter invasion

posted by Live 5 News Web Staff - 

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

Those 'Bird' scooters you may have seen around town earlier this month should not be making a repeat appearance in Charleston.

On Tuesday night, City Council unanimously passed a ban on the motorized scooters for one year. 

They say that will give them time to figure out how to regulate them.

This was roughly two weeks after a controversial scooter startup company appeared on the streets of Charleston.

The ban would make it unlawful for any person to operate a motorized scooter that wasn’t owned by that individual.

This means a person couldn’t rent a scooter and then drive it on a roadway, sidewalk, or any city-owned property.

A city spokesperson said that this ordinance was mainly in response to the Bird scooter situation. 

"Bird Rides" is a scooter rental company which operates in similar fashion to a ride-share. The scooters are rented through an app for $1 and cost roughly 0.15 cents to ride per minute, operating on lithium-ion batteries. They first showed up in Charleston Aug. 4.

The company, based in Los Angeles and founded by a former Uber executive, launched its first pilot program in Santa Monica in the fourth quarter of 2017. It's already reportedly seeking a $2 billion valuation.

When the scooters appeared in Charleston, the city issued a cease and desist letter to the company, which then showed up in Mount Pleasant the next day. 

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