City Receives 200 Complaints Since Bird Lands In Nashville

Posted at 6:00 PM, Dec 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-04 20:27:12-05

Since the first Bird Scooter was dropped on the streets of Nashville, just under 200 complaints have been logged with the city's contact website, Hub Nashville.

Scooter companies Lime and Bird are both part of a pilot program to test out the scooters in the city. In the first 90 days, there have been an average of two complaints per day on the Hub Nashville website.

However, at least one Metro Councilman believes the actual complaint number is much higher, since most people don't know to log complaints on the suggested site. The number doesn't account for complaints received by council members directly, which O'Connell says he gets nearly everyday. Also, it doesn't include complaints to Metro Police or incidents involving scooters.

"My understanding is the police don't have any easy way to pull that data back out," said O'Connell. "Let's assume the number of complaints is close 500 maybe even 1000."

Despite that high estimation, O'Connell still thinks the ratio of rides/riders to complaints is actually quite low. He estimates it's lower than 1 percent.

O'Connell said the lack of hard data has to do with the scooter pilot program having no centralized leadership. Even though the city collected some payment for permits to run scooters in the city, it's not enough to hire additional staff to manage data about the scooters.

"Who's in charge of the pilot? I'm not, as chair of the public works committee, right? I'm not staff," said O'Connell. "Best as I can tell this isn't a priority for the Mayor's office and their office of transportation and sustainability. I don't think the transportation licensing commission staff are looking at how are we coordinating this as a pilot. I don't think public works more broadly as a department is. And so, then it's like, OK, we have this nice little chunk of the metro code of laws but that's not an administrator."

The Metro Clerk's office has access to the individual complaints, but a request for the public info was not filled by the time this story was written. A spokesperson said they have to gather the data together before it's released.