Notice scooters scattered across Richmond? Here’s why the city is confiscating them

Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — An electric scooter rental service company dropped scooters around Richmond unannounced early Thursday morning. The city is now working to confiscate the unsanctioned scooters.

Richmond spokesperson Tom Byrnes told 8News that California-based company Bird Rides Inc. scattered dozens of the dockless scooters throughout downtown without informing the city. 

Bird did not immediately respond to 8News’ request for comment. 

This isn’t the first time Bird has shown up in Virginia without warning. According to WTOP, the company deployed a fleet of its scooters in Arlington County in June without an official arrangement with the county.

But it’s not just in Virginia. Bird has spontaneously shown up in several other cities, including San Francisco and Denver. Lawsuits and cease-and-desist orders have sometimes followed the arrival of the company.

Bird was founded by Travis VanderZanden, a former top executive at Uber and Lyft. The company is already offering rides in dozens of cities across the U.S. 

It costs $1 to unlock the dockless scooters and an additional 15 cents per minute  

To use the electric scooters, all you have to do is download their app, provide your contact information, a picture of your driver’s license and credit card information. A map will then appear, which shows the locations of the scooters and how much battery life is left. Using your phone’s camera, you then have to scan the QR code on top to unlock the scooter. 

Kristin Smith is working on this story and will have more tonight on 8News. 
 

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