You’ll see fewer electric scooters on Raleigh’s streets — and sidewalks — next month.
Scooter companies Bird and Lime have until Dec. 6 to agree to Raleigh’s set of rules or risk having to leave the city entirely.
Under the rules, each company could deploy up to 500 scooters each. Bird had 1,100 scooters on the streets this fall while Lime had 300.
Both companies are still negotiating with the city, according to Raleigh Transportation Director Michael Moore.
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In a statement, Bird said it is looking at whether it can “viably continue to provide Birds to the people of Raleigh” with Raleigh’s “deeply concerning” proposals.
“The current proposed framework gives us significant pause as it dramatically limits our ability to provide transportation to the community,” the company said. ”Removing Birds from the city will harm the environment as well as the economic value our service provides to local chargers and mechanics.”
Lime, on the other hand, said it was glad city council was embracing mobility options.
“We look forward to continuing our partnerships with Raleigh to make affordable, sustainable mobility options available to all residents,” according to a statement from the company.
Bird scooters were the first to arrive in Raleigh this summer. They were later followed by Lime, which also has dockless bicycles at N.C. State University and in other cities in Wake County.
People can unlock the scooters for $1 and pay 15 cents per minute to ride them. The Raleigh City Council voted Tuesday to allow scooters in bike lanes, but the scooters remain illegal on greenways and sidewalks.
If Bird and Lime agree to the rules they will pay the city $300 per scooter. That fee increased from $100 then to $150 before arriving at the $300 amount at the request of some council members.
That money will be used to enforce Raleigh’s rules. The city is in the process of creating educational materials to help people know the rules of riding scooters, including not riding on the sidewalk.
Raleigh police could issue citations now for riding on the sidewalks, but that will likely occur sometime later this year after an educational period.
The agreement that Lime and Bird are considering would be temporary and would end July 31, after which scooter companies would have to apply to be long-term operators in the city.
The City Council would then pick the vendors who would participate in the city for a predetermined amount of time.