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Raleigh leaders determining how to regulate electric-scooter sharing

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) - While people enjoy zipping around the city on new electric scooters, Raleigh city leaders are trying to determine what to do about regulating them.

Bird, a California-based company, placed the scooters in Raleigh this week, including downtown and in Cameron Village.

"We are assessing the situation to determine the best course of action regarding the scooters," said John Boyette, spokesman for the City of Raleigh.

Eric Lamb, Raleigh’s transportation planning manager, told CBS 17 that the company did not coordinate with the city and had not obtained any approvals or permits.

“Raleigh is a growing and thriving city that recognizes the importance of an accessible and reliable transit system. We are excited to bring our affordable, environmentally friendly transportation option to the people and communities of Raleigh. Birds are perfect for those ‘last mile’ trips that are too long to walk, but too short to drive,” a Bird spokesman wrote in an email to CBS 17.

To use the scooters, users download the company’s app. Then they use GPS to locate an available scooter. It costs $1 to rent it initially and then 15 cents a minute after that.

There are no rules about where you can leave a scooter. Bird said each night employees pick up the scooters to charge, repair and store them until the next day.

“Yeah, it was easy to locate. And I thought it was gonna be hard to balance on it, but that was pretty easy,” said Leila Mustafa after trying one out Thursday.

Other cities have raised concerns about the scooters. CNN reported that Denver and San Francisco banned them until city leaders could pass new regulations. 

Scooters could arrive in other cities in the Triangle. Bryan Poole, a transportation planner for the City of Durham, said three companies have reached out about that.

“Bird, as well as Lime and Spin, have expressed interest in deploying scooters here. We are discussing this possibility and how they conform with existing law and ordinance. We plan to make a recommendation to City Council in the late Summer/Fall, at the same time we make recommendations on modifications to our dockless bike share permit process. We have asked them to not deploy until we have an opportunity to present our recommendations,” Poole wrote in an email to CBS 17.


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