The Bulletin

Bird moves into Norfolk, gets its scooters impounded in a whole new Va. city

By: - August 29, 2018 1:31 pm

Richmond employees scooped up dockless, electric rental scooters dropped around the city by Bird. It was the second day in a row the company had put out scooters and the city impounded them. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury – Aug. 17, 2018)

Fresh from getting run out of Richmond by the city’s aggressive towing contractor, an electric scooter rental company popped up in Norfolk on Thursday, according to The Virginian-Pilot.

Authorities in Norfolk appear to be acting even quicker than Richmond to get the scooters, which people can rent for $1 with a smartphone app, off city sidewalks.

“City employees and police are working to round up the scooters and store them somewhere until they can reach the company,” the Pilot reported.

Richmond officials began collecting the scooters in the late evening of the first day they operated, but Bird appeared to be retrieving its scooters from impound and placing them back on the street.

It became much more difficult to get the scooters when the city announced that its towing contractor, Seibert’s, would be collecting them.

Bird is still technically operating in Richmond, but only three scooters were visible on the app on Wednesday afternoon, and all appeared to be in either back yards or apartment complexes where a perspective rider would be hard pressed to actually rent them.

Bird, for its part, insists it’s operating legally in Richmond.

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Ned Oliver
Ned Oliver

Ned, a Lexington native, has been a fulltime journalist since 2008, beginning at The News-Gazette in Lexington, and including stints at the Berkshire Eagle, in Berkshire County, Mass., and the Times-Dispatch and Style Weekly in Richmond. He is a graduate of Bard College at Simon’s Rock, in Great Barrington, Mass. He was named Virginia's outstanding journalist for 2020 by the Virginia Press Association.