BIRD SCOOTERS NOW AVAILABLE IN CHARLESTON
(Charleston, W. Va.) – Scooters are now available in the City of Charleston, through Bird – a leader in environmentally friendly electric transportation. The eco-friendly transportation option can be activated through Bird’s free mobile phone application and used for meeting up with friends, exploring the community and taking other daily trips.
“I welcome Bird to Charleston and am glad that community members have a new and fun way to get around. Residents and visitors will now have a way to get to local shops, restaurants, and tourist destinations without having to drive a car,” said Councilmember Emmett Pepper. “This is a healthier and more environmentally friendly way to explore our city.”
Bird aims to make cities more livable by reducing car trips, traffic and carbon emissions. The company’s scooters, developed by an in-house team of leading engineering and vehicle design experts, offer residents without cars another transportation option.
“We applaud the City of Charleston for their commitment to offering convenient, environmentally friendly and reliable transportation options to residents and visitors,” said Austin Marshburn, Head of City and University Partnerships at Bird.
Bird offers features and benefits to riders in Charleston, including:
- Community Pricing: Bird’s inclusive Community Pricing Program offers a 50 percent discount to low-income riders, Pell grant recipients, select local nonprofit and community organizations, veterans and senior citizens. Those who qualify can sign up by downloading the Bird app, creating an account and emailing proof of eligibility to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Free Rides for Healthcare Workers and Emergency Personnel: To recognize the individuals whose work continues to be so crucial to the health and safety of communities, Bird offers free rides to healthcare workers and emergency personnel. Those who qualify can sign up by emailing a copy of their medical identification card, name and phone number to email@example.com. Eligible riders receive two free 30-minute rides per day.
- Community Mode: Bird values community input. Anyone with a Bird account can report or provide feedback on vehicle-related issues such as poorly parked or damaged vehicles in their area by tapping the yield sign on the bottom left of the in-app Bird map. When a report is submitted, someone is assigned to correct the issue.
On May 15, 2023, Charleston City Council approved Resolution 805-23 authorizing the Mayor or City Manager to enter into a Shared Vehicle Operating Agreement between the City of Charleston and Bird Global, Inc.
Previously, on August 15, 2022, Charleston City Council adopted Bill No. 7956 Public Safety Committee Substitute as Amended which authorized the use of motorized scooters, with certain restrictions. Highlights of the bill are included below.
Motorized scooters are not allowed to be operated:
- On road with a speed limit higher than 30 mph;
- On sidewalks;
- On roadways, paths, or other surface that is closed to bicycle traffic;
- With any passengers (in addition to the operator);
- By anyone under the age of 16 years of age; Bird only permits operators 18 years of age or older;
- While carrying anything that prevents the operator from keeping at least one hand on the handlebars;
- While attached to any other vehicle on the road; and
- While in an impaired state, as defined in W. Va. Code § 17C-5-2.
Riders are not permitted to leave a motorized scooter lying on its side on any sidewalk or park a motorized scooter on a sidewalk in any other position, so that there is not an adequate path – three feet or more—for pedestrian traffic.
The City will continue to work with Bird to identify the best places to park and operate the scooters.