Another day, another round of Bird news. Last week, the Milwaukee Common Council kinda-sorta upheld a ban on those shareable Bird scooters everyone is over the moon about. The Common Council dropped specific language about the vehicles being prohibited—and eliminated language relating to fines for riders—though it left the future legality of the scooters up to the State of Wisconsin. Oh, and it said the city could start impounding the things, though that doesn’t appear to have happened.
But now, Milwaukee and Bird are apparently making nice. Sort of. According to a Bird press release, the company will voluntarily remove its scooters from Milwaukee, but “Milwaukee will work with Bird and other interested parties to add e-scooters to the city’s transportation mix” in the future. Here’s that press release:
Today, the City of Milwaukee and Bird announced they will cooperate to establish a framework for e-scooter sharing programs to be implemented throughout the city. Bird and the City expressed their shared goals of creating a community that embraces innovation and includes more transportation options. As soon as clarification comes on the status of e-scooters, or the Wisconsin legislature and the governor remove state restrictions on e-scooters, Milwaukee will work with Bird and other interested parties to add e-scooters to the city’s transportation mix.
“We are an innovative and entrepreneurial city that is committed to meeting environmental, economic and social needs while enhancing economic growth,” said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. “We are committed to working with Bird to develop a program that meets regulatory requirements as well as the needs of people living and working in Milwaukee.”
“Following a few weeks of productive conversations with city officials, our teams are joining forces so that Bird can be an affordable and environmentally friendly transportation option for the people of Milwaukee,” said David Estrada, Bird’s head of Public Affairs and Chief Legal Officer. “We are thankful to have the opportunity to work with Milwaukee City leaders and look forward to bringing Birds back to residents who have already come to enjoy and benefit from this new mode of transportation.”
While stakeholders work to craft the new operating framework, Bird is voluntarily removing its vehicles from Milwaukee. Upon re-arrival, Bird has committed to supporting the Milwaukee Police Department by providing extensive rider education to the people of Milwaukee and holding regular safety events in the city.
In the near future, Bird will provide its One Bird and Red, White and Bird programs in Milwaukee. One Bird offers underserved communities access to affordable and convenient transportation to increase mobility and employment opportunities. Red, White and Bird aims to provide accessibility benefits to active U.S. military and veterans.