Bloomington welcomes Bird scooters

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Bird scooters have now descended on another Indiana city without notice. The City of Bloomington was unaware the company would be dropping off 100 scooters on city streets, however that doesn't mean they want to get rid of them.

“It seems to be fairly standard operating practice that Birds have a bit of a surprise element in the way that they descend on cities,” said Yael Ksander, Communications Director for the City of Bloomington. "They mentioned that they were going to interact with us and form a sort of partnership, but that’s not the way things came to pass.”

However, Ksander says the city does not plan on making any drastic decisions like banning the scooters. She says existing laws that regulate electric and motorized vehicles operating under 25 miles per hour will apply.

That means the scooters are not allowed to be ridden on sidewalks, but will be allowed on trails.

"We’re very interested in making sure that we have a high level of walk-ability and that we accommodate a lot of alternate forms of transportation," Ksander said. "Scooters, in principal, are a big part of that.”

Many of the riders appear to be college age students at Indiana University. As for now, the campus has no rule specifically targeting the Bird scooters, but does have policies directed towards bikes and scooters in general.

"Certainly they’re being used and we have seen students riding them back and forth between classes," said Indiana University spokesperson Chuck Carney. "We’ll see what the impact is.”

While Bloomington is excited to see the new form of transportation in town, Ksander says city officials still hope to meet with Bird to make sure everyone rides safely.

"Scooters are something we welcome," Ksander said. "However, there are concerns for safety, for accessibility and for liability.”

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