Bird scooters back with new restrictions on parking

8 months 3 weeks 6 days ago Sunday, March 10 2019 Mar 10, 2019 Sunday, March 10, 2019 8:51:00 PM CDT March 10, 2019 in News
By: Eric Graves, KOMU 8 Reporter

Bird scooters are back in Columbia and can now only be parked in certain areas around MU campus and downtown.

The Bird scooter app has a geofence that restricts where Birds can be parked.

The scooters can now only be left in the unshaded area of the map, meaning if you're in the shaded area, you will not be seeing Bird scooters around your house.

For one Columbia business owner, this is creating an inconvenience for him and his employees.

Jonathan Sessions, owner of Gravity and a member of the school board, said he and some of his employees used to use Bird scooters to get to work sometimes.

He said one of his employees does not have a car and used Birds often as a more affordable and convenient way to get to work, but now he is outside of the geofence.

“When they were back he was excited and then when he saw there was no way for anyone to drop Birds in or around where he lives he was pretty frustrated,” Sessions said.

Sessions has the same problem. His home is outside of the geofence, so he can't ride a Bird scooter to his house.

“Half a block away is where the geofence ends," he said.

Sessions said he lives about a mile from work, so he said it used to be easy to grab a Bird and go.

"To be one block out and be able to see it out my front window, it's obviously very frustrating," Sessions said.

He said he supports the idea of the scooters as an affordable and convenient way of transportation but is frustrated by the geofence.

KOMU 8 reached out to Bird about the new geofence and the company's return to Columbia.

"We are thrilled to be back in Columbia and to provide residents an environmentally-friendly transportation option," a Bird spokesperson said. "As we resume service, we are initially focusing on the Columbia city-center and we anticipate that our service area will expand over time."

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