MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The city of Memphis suspended Bird Scooters for seven days after receiving several complaints about people being reckless while riding them over the weekend.
The complaints alleged that people rode the scooters past the city-imposed curfew and blocked traffic on some downtown area streets. The new curfew, from 10 at night until 5 in the morning on weekends, Friday through Sunday, aims to protect riders.
For the full statement from the city, click here.
Nicholas Oyler, bikeway and pedestrian program manager of the city of Memphis, says the company failed to make sure their scooters could no longer be used after 10 p.m., forcing the city to shut them down, temporarily.
“On Saturday night, the bird scooters were still very much operable well past 10 o’clock up to midnight downtown,” Oyler said. “I believe this was a technical glitch or oversight on Bird’s part but either way they failed to comply.”
The company removed the hundreds of scooters throughout the city of Memphis. Oyler says he thinks it sends a strong message to the company that we’re taking this serious.
A spokesperson with the Bird Company said in part the following:
“We are committed to continuing our close partnership with the City as we work to address reports of an increase in underage riding and irresponsible rider behavior. We apologize to riders for the disruption in the service they have come to rely on and will use this time to more deeply engage with residents and local business.”
After the seven-day suspension, the Bird company will be allowed to have 50 scooters in operation for three consecutive days. If they comply, they will be allowed to have their full capacity.
Since these scooters are similar to motorized vehicles, people are supposed to have a license and be 18 years old to ride. The city says Bird has already booted more than 200 people from their app.
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