Frisco City Council gives Bird scooters the boot after less than two weeks

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Frisco is saying bye-bye to Bird Scooters, which has three days to remove 200 rental scooters dropped throughout the city without permission.

The electric scooter rental company launched its fleet in Frisco on Dec. 5 without consulting with city officials.

Frisco City Council called a special meeting on Friday, Dec. 14, to decide how to proceed.

“While we like to be innovators and scooters may fit into our mobility plan, their execution was not to our standards,” Frisco Mayor Jeff Cheney said in a Facebook post after the meeting.

City council members and staff said they have already received complaints from residents and businesses about the scooters. Some said the scooters were a tripping hazard on the sidewalks. Others were concerned about under-age riders and clutter along the city’s right-of-ways.

The city of Frisco has no ordinances regulating electronic scooters.

During the meeting, council members asked the representative from Bird why the company did not consult with the city prior to dropping off its fleet. The council said they thought that would have been helpful.

Blanca Laborde, Bird’s Senior Manager of Government Relations, did not give a clear answer. She said the company does a legal analysis on cities and had identified Frisco as a potential good market for scooters.

Bird’s operations are similar to other scooter-sharing programs. Riders download the Bird app on their mobile devices to locate and unlock the scooters. Bird charges $1 to unlock a scooter and 15 cents per minute to ride them.

“I do think there is a use for scooters here,” council member Will Sowell said. “I do believe that, especially as we mature as a city and connecting mixed-use areas. Unfortunately, the business model used, I think, has burned an incredible amount of goodwill with the residents of the city.”

All council members stated they were not interested in the trial and error approach that Bird used.

Deputy city manager Henry Hill told Laborde during the meeting that if Bird does not remove its scooters by 8 a.m. Monday, Dec. 17, the city’s code enforcement staff will go out and remove all the scooters themselves.

Laborde said she would consult with the company’s leadership team.

Council will hold a special meeting at 5 p.m. Dec. 18 to consider a moratorium that would temporarily prohibit the use of Bird scooters until the proper ordinances are in place. City staff will work to draft up an ordinance to bring before council at a later date that would regulate scooters.

“Council has an interest in exploring them as a mobility solution,” Cheney said. “We just want to make sure it is executed properly … how we can make these work for our residents and our city.”

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  1. I’m glad the scooters were removed. They litter the streets and devalue our communities. The only place they might have a place is in Frisco Square; but even that space is easily walkable. I hope the city council never allows this sort of business.

    • No they don’t, they provide a cheap and clean alternative to cars.
      They are on the sidewalks…..

      I think it’s a great idea

      • Had they asked the city of Frisco then everything would have been fine. That way the city of Frisco could have negotiated themselves some sort of profit, and everything could have ended up exactly the same way, the scooters littering the streets wouldn’t be a problem if it were putting money in Frisco’s pockets.
        I mean, who cares, it’s not like anyone walks in Frisco anyway, and the only time you catch most the residents on a bike is when they are in their spandex blocking a lane of traffic…

  2. I’ll help remove them on Monday… what an eyesore! Company needs to rack them or find some way to make them seem less of a clutter, and off the sidewalks. Not to mention no helmets or safety gear.

  3. This was a deliberate strategy on Bird Scooters part: to try and embed scooters into the Frisco landscape in hope that locals would become attached to them before the city could formulate ordinances against. Similar companies have done this elsewhere with bikes and scooters. It’s the ol easier to get forgiveness than permission gamble. Good luck with that.

  4. I always laugh when liberals cry for clean air and then when you have an opportunity to support clean air, then they yell well cry, it’s an eye sore. Wind turbine, solar panels on roofs, and yes, electric scooters. Bird did handle this wrong but frisco needs this to show they do support clean air. Maybe start with 75 scooters. See how they are used then make a longer term plan for this transportation. I was in Kansas city this week and used one for the first time. It was great experience. Easy to use and helped with not taking rental car and looking for more parking. Can they clutter up? Yes. But is Frisco going to pay for more Parking garages? No. I say do a test run with 75 then go up and down from there.

  5. I love the idea of scooters. I think it would have been great for the city especially during concerts and events. We’ve used them in Dallas and loved them. If most people tried them, I am sure they would like them. You have to scan your license to be able to use them, so no one under 16 can ride them. And you cannot scan more than one with the same license.

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Nicole Luna is the Senior Reporter for Frisco. She covers development, transportation, education, business and city government. She has a bachelor's degree in Journalism and Spanish from The University of Texas at Arlington and has been with Community Impact Newspaper since June 2015.
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