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Bird scooters are becoming ubiquitous in Baltimore.

Bird scooters are becoming ubiquitous in Baltimore.

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In Charm City, Dockless Scooters Operate in the Wild West

We’ve all become used to seeing dockless scooters around D.C., but there’s some tension around their arrival up the road in Baltimore.

The Baltimore Sun reports that scooters from Bird are starting to be widely used in Charm City, but unlike in D.C., they are not operating under and rules or even a pilot program. The city has told residents to ride the scooters “at their own” risk, and some city leaders said they are not thrilled with Bird’s approach of dropping scooters into the city without notice.

“The city is in a bit of a spot because this is how Bird behaves,” Baltimore City Councilman Zeke Cohen told the Sun. “From my understanding, in many of the cities they are in, they essentially drop their scooters off and then the cities develop a regulatory framework. It’s not a great way to do business.”

The Sun said about 60 of the dockless, battery-powered scooters are in use around the city. Bird charges $1 initially plus 15 cents per minute.

In the District, dockless scooters are being evaluated as part of a broader pilot program related to dockless bikeshare. The pilot program was initially set to end in April but has been extended to August. In the District, scooters from Waybots, Bird and Limebike are operating under the pilot program. While the pilot program is in place to inform the District on how it may regulate dockless bikes and scooters, there were some basic rules put in place, and the District is allowed to talk with operators to address any complaints.

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