Today Bird Scooters launched in Kansas City, MO with 100 scooters around the Downtown area. This new mobility option has a mixed record in the US so far. It could be a great way to get more people out of cars, give people more options for short trips, and/or provide first/last mile options for transit trips. We are of course in favor of accessible, affordable, car-free options for getting around the city. Unfortunately many scooter companies have dropped into cities without permission or planning, leading to problems with blocking sidewalks and public right-of-ways, creating hazards for pedestrians, etc.
We are disappointed that Bird has chosen to drop scooters into Kansas City without asking for permission, having proactive conversations with transit and city agencies, or giving the city a chance to develop regulations and policies to ensure scooters are safe and accessible for everyone.
City Hall is in the process of developing a pilot program for permitting scooters, and BikeWalkKC is helping to advise city leaders on policies and regulations that balance innovation with respectful use of public spaces. We encourage all scooter companies to comply with current laws, and to step up and join us in advocating for a multi-modal transportation system that provides safe and sustainable options that serve all people in all parts of our city.