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Dockless scooters prohibited from Kansas City shopping area

Dockless scooters prohibited from Kansas City shopping area

August 10th, 2018 in Missouri News

KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Kansas City shopping district has banned the use of new dockless electric scooters in the area because of safety issues.

Users of the Bird scooter rentals were notified Wednesday not to ride or drop off in the Country Club Plaza, the Kansas City Star reported.

Kansas City struck a six-month deal with California-based Bird Rides Inc. last week to put a limited number of electric scooters on the city's streets. The move came after the company placed about 100 scooters into the city without notice or clearance, following a guerrilla business model it's used in other municipalities.

The interim agreement allows Bird Rides to bring up to 500 scooters to Kansas City.

Country Club Plaza general manager Meredith Keeler said safety incidents with scooters in the pedestrian-heavy district caused many customer and tenant complaints. Keeler didn't offer details about the incidents.

Kansas City police said they weren't aware of any accidents involving the electric scooters in the area.

Bird Rides proactively reached out to the Plaza and made the area a no-ride zone, the company said in a statement.

"We are in communication with city officials regarding the Plaza, and are working together to ensure Bird is operating in accordance with city guidelines," Bird Rides said.

Bird users locate the dockless scooters with a smartphone app. It costs $1 to unlock a scooter and 15 cents per minute to ride until a destination is reached. Bird employees track the scooters via GPS to recharge them and place them in populated areas for other users.

Some cities have been trying to ban the business until terms can be worked out, including Milwaukee, Salt Lake City, Denver and San Francisco.