Coachella City Council Unanimously Approves Bird Scooters

COACHELLA —  With a 5-0 vote, the city of Coachella has become the first and only Coachella Valley city to approve the sometime-controversial Bird Scooters in this ever-evolving community.

Bird Scooters Approved in City of Coachella

Bird Scooters

“For us, it’s about mobility of our residents,” Mayor Steven Hernandez told Uken Report. “We are a city comprised of many young people and families that are looking for alternate ways of transportation rather that be bicycles, skateboards, roller skates, and now an electric scooter. We have built many bicycle lanes that traverse our city’s grid system and have increased mobility in our town. We want people to get out of their house, (out) of their cars and go hang out in downtown, visit a park and enjoy the great quality of life Coachella is working towards.”

The City Council approved the Pilot Operating Agreement with Santa Monica-based Bird Rides, Inc. to administer and operate a stand-up electric scooter sharing system in the city of Coachella.

We did put provisions into the contract that allows us to end the agreement with the company if it’s not working out, according to Hernandez.

The battery-operated e-scooters are known for being ecologically friendly.

The Palm Springs City Council in 2019 rejected the popular scooters.

Rancho Mirage and Indian Wells have banned e-scooters and La Quinta and Palm Desert rejected pilot programs.

On March 18, 2021, the City of Coachella Economic Development and Planning Sub-Committee approved the draft Pilot Operating Agreement with Bird Rides, Inc. that will administer and manage a stand-up electric scooter-sharing program in the City of Coachella. The program will consist of a 12-month period in which Bird Rides, Inc. will launch 100 electric scooters in strategic locations identified by city staff based on various factors, such as population density, access to
bike lanes and pedestrian pathways, commercial and retail accessibility, etc. The Company will be responsible for all maintenance, operations and will indemnify the city of any liability. The Company will provide 24-hour customer service for safety concerns and complaints, along with some general ride activity data to improve the city’s Active Transportation Plan (ATP).

The scooters, which can travel up to 15 mph, are operated by phone apps that require credit or debit cards and driver’s licenses of operators to run.  Users must be at least 18 years old and are encouraged to wear a helmet.

Users pay $1 to ride for the first minute and a smaller per-minute fee thereafter.

State law requires they be ridden on streets — in bike lanes or close to the curb where bike lanes do not exist — but not on sidewalks.

Founded in September 2017 Bird operated shared electric scooters in more than 100 cities in Europe, the Middle East, and North America with 10 million rides in its first year of operation.


Image Sources

  • Bird scooters: City of Coachella