Scooter Watch: Scooter Prices and Injuries Keep Going Up

by on April 10, 2019 · 6 comments

in Ocean Beach

We’re trying to keep track for you, dear reader, all the news about those scooters. As ER visits by scooter riders mount, the CDC is studying scooter injuries, Bird’s scooters just got more expensive. And remember those guys taking it upon themselves to “impound” scooters? Lime and Bird are suing them. As if the scooter companies aren’t themselves being sued. And the City of San Diego is being sued.

Here’s some exciting headlines:

Riding Bird’s electric scooters just got more expensive in some cities

Bird is experimenting with price changes as it seeks to tighten up the margins of its money-losing business. Since it first launched, the micromobility company has charged $1 to unlock an electric scooter, plus 15 cents per minute of riding. Now, Bird is effectively doubling that per-minute fee in some cities, while lowering it in others.

“Similar to ride-hailing, big macs, and cups of coffee, our pricing now varies by city”
Bird wouldn’t provide a full list of which markets would experience price fluctuations, but local media outlets and scooter watchers on Twitter have some of the details. Per-minute fees increased to 25 cents in cities like Austin, Texas and Los Angeles, to 29 cents in Baltimore, and to 33 cents in Detroit and Charlotte, NC. Some cities are getting price decreases to 10 cents / minute, like Bloomington, IL, Charlottesville, VA, and Columbia, MO.

From The Verge on April 9, 2019

For instance, Bird more than doubles scooter rental fees in Detroit, and Bird doubles its per-minute rate for riding its scooters in Baltimore.

UC San Diego trauma surgeon says number of scooter injuries increasing

A UC San Diego Medical Center trauma surgeon on Tuesday told News 8 the number of scooter injuries are drastically increasing and doctors are concerned about a public health issue. On Tuesday, a scooter-related accident on Mission Beach’s Boardwalk was the third to happen after two more were reported this past weekend in the same area. “The scooter goes flying, the person flying – people get hurt,” said Doug Neary, a Mission Beach resident.

Dr. Leslie Kobayashi, UC San Diego Medical Center trauma surgeon for the surgeon for the Georgia man who died from a scooter fall injuries but because of patient privacy restrictions could not talk about the case. “All of us are scrambling to find out how big of a public health concern this is going to be. Most of the time they say they were doing something stupid,” said Dr. Kobayashi. CBS8

Scooter injuries are keeping ER doctors busy. Washington Post 

The CDC is studying scooter injuriesWAPO

As concerns mount about injuries from electric scooters, Bird pulls repairs in-house

Scooter injuries and deaths have piled up across the country, from the East Coast to Southern California, including in San Diego. Public health officials up and down the state have raised concerns about the dangers of riding the vehicles, especially when intoxicated.

Lawsuits involving dockless scooter safety are mounting as well, including one filed in December in Los Angeles Superior Court by a former Bird employee. The complaint alleges the company directed freelance mechanics to ignore missing screws, wobbly handlebars and other maintenance issues, placing unsafe scooters back on cities streets.

Earlier this year, Bird started to phase out its use of paying people on a contract basis to repair its scooters, much in the same way it still pays people on a per-vehicle-basis to charge them at their homes. San Diego Union-Tribund

Remember those guys impounding scooters? Lime and Bird are suing them

Dockless scooter giants Bird and Lime are suing two San Diego businessmen for impounding thousands of their electronic bikes and scooters, then holding the property hostage until a “ransom” was paid.

The local towing company, Scooter Removal, was founded earlier this year by entrepreneurs Dan Borelli and John Heinkel. The two say they were responding to constant complaints from business owners and neighbors frustrated that electric scooters and e-bikes were crowding into privately owned spaces. The towing company allows people to call and request a pickup, sign a tow authorization on the spot, and Scooter Removal will remove the items for free, later charging the scooter companies to get their property back.

From SD Union-Tribune on April 10, 2019

San Diego preparing defense against four scooter injury lawsuits

San Diego officials are preparing to defend the city against four electric scooter injury lawsuits that claim more aggressive regulation could have prevented collisions with pedestrians. Two suits involve people who were hit by scooters, one was filed by a person who was injured after her scooter hit a pedestrian and a fourth involves a man injured when a recklessly operated scooter forced a bike to collide with his wheelchair.

City Attorney Mara Elliott, who is requesting the cases be consolidated, said in the city’s first legal response that San Diego isn’t liable for the injuries partly because cities can’t be sued for failing to adopt regulations.

The city’s response, filed in court this month, also contends that comprehensive scooter rules approved by the state have already established a framework for cities to regulate the increasingly popular devices. SDUT

Nevada lawmakers eye electric scooter regulations

Nevada lawmakers are considering a bill (AB485) that would give local governments the ability to regulate electric foot scooters. Representatives from electric scooter companies urged legislators on Tuesday to support the measure. The bill allows locals governments to set rules for electric foot scooters, including banning the scooters in specific areas.

The legislation mandates a person must be at least 16 years old to ride the electric scooters and gives broad range for local governments to regulate them, including requiring operators to pay a fee for running the scooter-share programs.

Reno and other cities have grappled with how to address the scooters, which have caused troubles in some cities. KOLO8News



{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

ZZ April 10, 2019 at 2:33 pm

Any politician who passes a “regulation” that effectively bans scooters will lose my support.

One reason I like Bry is she has experience with high tech business. More innovation, not less, and Yes In My Backyard!

Bry stated in an interview in Oct 2018: “I want the scooters to succeed, but they need to be regulated better. I am working with the companies on proposals that requires them to pay fees for using city property.”


kh April 10, 2019 at 5:58 pm

Bird complains that the repo company doesn’t give them enough notice before impounding. Pretty sure if I leave my car parked in someone else’s driveway I don’t get any notice.

I retreived 3 broken and reported it to them via the app to come retrieve them. Canned response and then nothing. After a week they went in the dumpster, lithium batteries and all. Good on Scoot Scoop for at least finding a way to get paid to clean up their mess.

Fact is Bird knows where these guys are and where to find their scooters, yet are too incompetent to handle even that. After a visit to their warehouse it seemed clear to me they have a single part-time guy managing the entire San Diego fleet. They don’t make any money, they are just riding high on promises and fundraising. Price hikes will come soon.

This fad needs to end sooner than later. People are starting to realize its more of an experiment in toxic pollution than it is eco-friendly transportation. Per Bird the average scooter lifespan is 1-2 months.


Vern April 11, 2019 at 7:20 am

A fad indeed.
And the entire e-scooter supply chain is petroleum based.


mjt April 10, 2019 at 8:07 pm

My rage is for the politicians who roll over for this nonsense.
Is there anyway to know how much the scooter whores pay into their campaigns and how ever else these weasels get their cash.

From day one i read the scooter scum has deep pockets and big balls,
Just dump and run is their motto Pay off the politicians and to hell with the rest of us.

I used to be young once, i think. The market for this crap are mainly young males, the one segment of society who needs it least, at the expense of everyone else.


Frank Gormlie April 12, 2019 at 9:25 am

Just heard from Jen Campbell’s D2 office: Dockless regulations are scheduled to be on the April 23rd city council agenda. The agenda for that meeting will be confirmed and posted next Wednesday the 17th.


Peter from South O May 14, 2019 at 2:40 am

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