Bird says pilot program with Columbia 'soon coming to an end'

2 months 5 days 23 hours ago Thursday, November 21 2019 Nov 21, 2019 Thursday, November 21, 2019 12:34:00 AM CST November 21, 2019 in News
By: Ethan Stein, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA - A scooter rental pilot program in Columbia is soon to expire. Now, the scooter company is seeking a more permanent deal.

In a statement to KOMU 8 News, a spokesperson with Bird confirmed the company is looking to find a long-term agreement.

"Bird is proud to have served the City of Columbia for over a year and thrilled that residents and students quickly embraced our option as a way to get around town,” the statement said. “While the city's pilot is soon coming to an end, we look forward to working collaboratively with the city and the university to develop a more permanent mobility option that continues to offer a sustainable transportation solution for the entire community.”

On Nov. 19, 2018, Columbia authorized a one-year pilot agreement with the company. However, at this point in time, the agreement has not been extended.

The city of Columbia is interested and plans to pursue a long term contract with a dockless scooter company.

According to the pilot program's agreement, Bird had to pay the city a regulatory fee of $10,000 within a month of the effective date of the agreement. In addition, the company paid a ridership fee of $1.00 for every scooter in operation each day. The agreement set an initial fleet size of 500 scooters for the company.

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