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Bird is suing city of Beverly Hills, California over scooter ban

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Bird scooters los angeles
People
ride Bird shared dockless electric scooters along Venice
Beach.

Mario Tama/Getty
Images


  • Bird is suing Beverly Hills,
    California after the city banned its scooters.
  • The company said in the suit that it’s paid more than
    $100,000 in fines to retrieve impounded scooters.
  • “Beverly Hills has gone to the extreme,” the lawsuit
    says, and claims the ordinance violates state
    law. 

When the city of Beverly Hills, California approved a ban on
“shared mobility devices,” or scooters, in August, it quickly
began impounding the vehicles throughout the city.

After being hit with “more than $100,000” in fines from 950
citations from the new ordinance, scooter startup Bird has filed
a lawsuit against the city, claiming “Beverly Hills has gone to
the extreme” and is violating the California vehicle code by
banning its scooters within its city limits.

In a complaint filed November 1, Bird said the city council’s
passage of a six-month ban was a “hasty and deceptive proceeding
riddled with violations of California’s open-meeting, public
participation, and environmental laws.” The company also noted
how the city has fought tooth and nail to fight against a purple
line subway extension, “preferring instead to keep transit riders
in communities to the east from reaching Beverly hills.”


Bird scooter invoice notice
One example of an impound notice from Bird’s
lawsuit

Court
documents


A spokesperson for the city did not respond to a request for
comment.

In their discussions at a special meeting in July, city council
members were furious at how Bird and other scooter companies
launched without any warning.

“We need to make this as difficult and as punitive as we can,”
Mayor Julian Gold said at the meeting. 

“I am beyond offended by the manner in which this was rolled out.
I think it’s great technology and maybe it is the right thing,
but to intentionally impose on cities the risks that you as
organizations have done in an effort to make profit, as far
as I’m concerned, is unconscionable.”

Bird says many of the reasons cited by city council members are
false.

“The city council argued that scooters are ‘unregulated,” the
suit reads, again citing the California vehicle code “This is
plainly untrue … if the were unregulated, the solution would be
regulation, which was on the agenda for the Special
Meeting, but now what the city council actually considered.”


Read more: 
Lime
wants to be more than a scooter startup — and it’s hired an
executive from one of the world’s most well-known luxury fashion
companies to help it get there

There was one dissenter on the city council: Vice Mayor John
Mirisch, who said scooters and electric vehicles aren’t
disruptive on their own.

“What is new is the combination and what is perhaps disruptive is
the implementation,” he said. “A lot of these accidents that are
waiting to happen is because people aren’t following the rules of
the road — they do exist.”

Bird says it has been “irreparably harmed” by the City’s
“unlawful actions” and requests in its suit that the court award
it damages, reimbursement for impound fees, and costs of the
lawsuit. A hearing is set for February 2019.

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