Metro Sues Bird, Asks Court To Order Removal Of Scooters From Sidewalks

Posted at 7:50 PM, May 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-30 20:59:25-04

After less than a month of use in Metro Nashville, Bird Electric Vehicle Sharing was sued Friday by the city to stop the scooters from blocking sidewalks and being left in parks.

The complaint states on numerous occasions, Bird riders leave the scooters parked on public sidewalks. The city informed Bird the scooters were in violation of code and the vehicles should be removed in 15 days.

The suit requests the court order Bird to immediately remove all of its scooters from sidewalks, Metro Parks and greenways or be subject to a $50 fine per scooter found in violation per day.

Despite the suit, Bird spokesperson Kenneth Baer did not comment on whether or not they would comply with Metro's request.

"We are aligned with many members of the City Council who want to work with the mayor to develop a comprehensive framework for this new, effective transportation option," said Baer in a statement.

However, metro council member Freddie O'Connell said he believes the negotiations between Bird and the city have broken down at some point.

"I think right now the question is, can the city and Bird get to a peaceable co-existence where Bird [recognizes] that dockless means you have to be on either public or private property, in either of right of way and someone's private property, do you have permission to be there?" said O'Connell.

The city claims Bird does not effectively communicate its rules to its users. Many riders have been spotted with helmets, riding on sidewalks and parking the scooters on private property, all of which are against Bird's rules.

The lawsuit will be heard in Davidson County Court for the first time on June 13th.