Bird Scooter to Corpus Christi: Goodbye
Bird scooter had a good ride but said goodbye to Corpus Christi shortly after the City Council approved regulations that priced the for-rent dockless scooter company out of the market. Bird was one of three companies renting scooters in the city; the other two being Blue Duck and Lime. Both of the remaining companies signed leasing agreements with the city by the Jan. 29 deadline.
The six-month pilot licensing program approved by the city Jan. 15 assesses a fee of $1 per scooter per day. Both Bird and Lime officially opposed the fee as excessive.
“San Antonio charges $20 per scooter per year,” said Tim Barnett, a representative of the Lime scooter company, who spoke at the first reading of ordinance Jan. 8. “So, $365 (a year per scooter) is much higher than other cities and prohibitive for us to do our work here. Please allow us to shift from a per-scooter to a per-ride fee.”
Bird representative Blanca Labord agreed, recommending a per-trip fee of 10 cents.
"Left unresolved, (the current fee) threatens to disrupt service in the scooter industry in Corpus Christi,” said Labord, senior manager of government partnerships for Bird.At the same meeting, Blue Duck representative Casey Whittington told the council his company would not leave Corpus Christi because of the fee.
“We think (the fee) allows everyone to be on an even playing field,” Whittington said. “We want to see that money put toward bike lanes and more sidewalks.”
Blue Duck scooters were offered free to riders in Corpus Christi throughout the month of January.
Licensing fees are due to the city on tenth day of each month as per the new ordinance.
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