PALM SPRINGS — Bird Scooters must “cease and desist” within 24 hours or City Manager David H. Ready has been directed to confiscate and store the scooters as expeditiously as possible under the City’s existing ordinances.
The City Council met in closed session Thursday evening directed City Attorney to notify Bird Scooters that the company must cease and desist operations in the city of Palm Springs within 24 hours and remove all scooters, until the city has an opportunity to consult the community on this issue.
The news came about 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29 via a blunt news release from Amy Blaisdell, the city’s Communications Director.
The cease and desist order came within hours of Bird scooter-sharing announcing it had launched in Palm Springs — the first city in the Coachella Valley to have an e-scooter business.
A fleet of the electronic scooters was delivered along the popular and famed Palm Canyon Drive without so much as a notification to the city.
Not exactly the kind of holiday surprise city leaders expected, must less wanted.
The company had not contacted the city and does not have a business license to operate in Palm Springs.
Rachel Bankston, Corporate Communications Associate at Bird said Bird scooters offer a new, environmentally-friendly transportation option to help get residents in Palm Springs where they need to go while getting cars off the road, reducing traffic, and cutting carbon emissions.
Well, maybe not any time soon.
Scooter rental startup Bird Rides is now valued at $2 billion after a recent $300 million funding round, according to CNNBusiness. That’s a fast rise for the Los Angeles-based company, which launched its first scooter pilot program in Santa Monica, California, last September. It now operates scooter shares in 22 US cities.
Most companies rent scooters by the minute and allow riders to leave them on popular street corners and near transit stops — a controversial move that has upset some cities’ officials and residents.
Some cities like San Francisco and Denver have banned them until new regulation is passed.