Mayor gives Bird till midnight to remove its scooters from St. Paul streets

The city wants the company to wait until it passes rules for e-scooter companies.
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Mayor Melvin Carter has given Bird until the end of Friday to remove all of its dockless scooters from St. Paul's streets.

The electric scooter rental company caught city officials in both St. Paul and Minneapolis by surprise when it suddenly arrived in the Twin Cities earlier this month, abruptly introducing 200 scooters to the streets.

Now Carter has told the company that any scooters left on the streets by midnight Friday will be removed by the city.

That's not to say this is a permanent threat. On the contrary, Carter says that Bird only has to keep its scooter rentals out of St. Paul until the city can pass rules to regulate it.

The council will meet on Aug. 1 to discuss a temporary licensing program that would require Bird and other motorized scooter rental companies be licensed to operate in the city, and follow a set of guidelines, including a cap on the number of scooters they can place on the streets.

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"Saint Paul is open for business and a place where innovative companies can start-up, grow, and thrive," Carter said in a press statement.

"This scooter-share pilot program will provide residents with access to this exciting new way of getting around our city."

Along I-94 in Minneapolis, the city is meeting today (Friday) to vote on a similar ordinance, requiring companies like Bird to get a license before operating motorized scooters in the city.

Users can rent Bird scooters by downloading its free app. A rental costs a $1 flat fee, and 15 cents for every minute you use it.

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