Why Richmond quickly shutdown pop-up scooter operation Bird

RICHMOND, Va. — After attempting an unannounced launch in downtown Richmond, a West Coast scooter startup had its wings clipped by the city.

Bird, a Santa Monica, California-based company that operates a fleet of electric dockless scooters in cities nationwide, on Thursday dropped a batch of its vehicles in the city in a blitz that quickly resulted in riders zipping around town.

But operations didn’t last long, as by Thursday afternoon the city announced Bird was not allowed to run in Richmond and its scooters were being impounded.

Tom Byrnes, a spokesman for the mayor’s office, confirmed that the city was collecting and impounding the scooters, saying that Bird did not have the permissions needed to drop their fleet in the city.

“They deployed them without engaging the city. We had no contact with them,” Byrnes said. “It’s akin to opening a restaurant without engaging the city or following the rules and processes.”

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