PROVIDENCE – Bird scooters showed up in Providence last year without warning. They are set to leave almost as abruptly.
Users were notified Friday that it would be the last day the company would offer their electric scooters for use in the city.
"Provide, we had a great trip," said an alert sent out via the Bird app. “Thank you for believing in our vision of a world with fewer cars and cleaner air. We are working to see you again soon. "
But the end of Bird's service does not mean the end of Providence scooters. Opposite. There will be even more scooters in town as a pilot program that controls scooter sharing companies enters its second year.
The city has renewed the license for Lime, which has been operating in Providence since last year and will be allowed to have 250 scooters on the street, as well as the granting of new permits to Spin and Veoride, for 1
The three companies were selected through an application process "which ensures that only those scooter sharing companies determined to best match our vision for mobility will operate in the city over the next year," said Emily Crowell, spokeswoman for Mayor Jorge Elorza , in an email. Bird was not allowed through the process.
Applications for the program were submitted by August 16. The companies were notified if they were granted permission by August 30, the day before the end of the first year. of the program. The new program year, with new rules in effect, starts Monday, according to the city's website. The companies will pay the city $ 150 per scooter for the year.
"Bird is so grateful to our Providence community for supporting shared e-scooters and embracing an eco-friendly alternative to short car trips," a company spokesman said in an email when asked to comment. "We thank Providence riders and welcome the opportunity to provide our service again in the future."
Bird, based in Santa Monica, California, arrived in Providence in July 2018, when it released dozens of scooters in the city without Scooter being removed shortly thereafter, and then reappeared after the company reached an agreement with the City of Providence, where the company agreed to pay the city $ 38,700 for a year-long permit, plus a $ 7,500 capital to cover any expenses the city may incur as a result of the scooters.
Bird's announcement came less than a month after Uber-owned JUMP bikes decided to temporarily leave Providence following a series of reports of their abuse.
"Providence is committed to providing residents and visitors with practical and equitable intermodal transportation options," Crowell said.