Bird Drops into Isla Vista

Another electric scooter company is trying out its welcome in Santa Barbara County, this time Bird in Isla Vista. (When Lime arrived in June, the City of Santa Barbara impounded the scooters within hours.) The app-driven rental company dropped scooters in the college town on September 27, and a Bird spokesperson said, “The people and students of Isla Vista quickly embraced” the scooters.

I.V. might reap a dollar day per scooter if the revenue-sharing agreement between Bird and the Community Services District works out, said Ethan Bertrand, head of the CSD board. Borrowing the ride-share scooters costs $1 per ride and 20 cents per minute. Among the rules, according to Bird, is an age of 18 or older for riders, required riding on streets and bike paths (and off sidewalks), daylight riding only, parking at racks or off public pathways, and helmets upon request. Top speed for the scooters is 15mph, with a range of 15 miles on one charge.

Bird has submitted applications for encroachment permits and use of the public right of way with the county, Bertrand added. Chris Sneddon with County Public Works stated an ordinance was in the works “to ensure they operate safely and do not create nuisances.”

This story was corrected on October 3, 2018, to reflect that the Bird charge is 20 cents per minute, not per mile.

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