Bird Scooters Still Popular in Southern California, 1 Year Later

A year ago, electric scooters infiltrated Los Angeles and the surrounding areas. Also known as Bird scooters, these handy, dockless scooters have revolutionized travel for those tired of sitting in Southern California traffic. Faster than walking, but not as much trouble as driving, Bird scooters are gaining in popularity in Los Angeles.

Not everyone is a fan, though. These Bird scooters have drawn a lot of criticism. Many consider them a safety hazard, given that people can leave them anywhere when they are done using them. They are not only a nuisance, but visually unappealing as well. They are left in bike lanes, on sidewalks and even in trees.

Legal Requirements For Operating A Bird Scooter In Los Angeles

Many people have criticized these scooters, but Los Angeles lawmakers are embracing them. The city council recently approved new regulations for the scooters. Many supporters claim that the scooters are ideal for short distances and can cut down on traffic in one of the busiest cities in the country.

Many users do not follow the laws. A person must have a valid driver’s license and be 18 or older to use a Bird scooter. They must also wear a helmet at all times and refrain from carrying passengers. Many kids have been using the scooters. Some use them without a helmet. Some ride with their friends. Many people have gotten into accidents with these scooters.

Why Are Cities Banning Bird Scooters?

When Bird scooters were introduced to Los Angeles a year ago, many thought these scooters were simply a novelty and would not catch on. Today, Bird Rides Inc. is a $2 billion company that has dominated Los Angeles in one short year. The company has approximately 15,000 scooters in the city and is continuing to grow, thanks to an incentive from Los Angeles’ transportation department. The company would be allowed to expand if it would serve low-income areas.

Despite this, the majority of Bird scooters are found in wealthy neighborhoods. They can be primarily found in cities in the Westside, such as Hollywood, Venice, Santa Monica and Century City. They are most popular on the Santa Monica Pier, the shopping district of Melrose Avenue and near the high-rise buildings in Century City.

Where Can I Legally Ride A Bird Scooter In Los Angeles?

Some of the cities have their own laws and bans. For example, West Hollywood will allow you to ride a scooter, but not park one there. Beverly Hills is still figuring out how to regulate these scooters. In the meantime, the city has banned them for six months.