ST. PAUL, Minn. - Just as fast as they appeared, the Bird scooters have seemingly flown the coop from St. Paul -- at least for now.
According to the Bird ride app, none of the scooters that were initially dropped off in downtown St. Paul and Frogtown on Tuesday are available for rent. A release from the city also states they asked the company to pull the scooters.
Lisa Hiebert, public information officer for St. Paul Public Works, stated in an email Tuesday that the city requires any items placed in the right-of-way must have a permit. The scooters did not, and therefore, were in violation of the city ordinance.
Hiebert said the placement of those Bird scooters was "unexpected" and without warning.
However, a spokesperson for Bird states, "Bird reached out to the city of St. Paul before launch, and had a productive conversation with their team yesterday."
Hiebert said they hope to work things out with the company, and move forward once certain regulations are in place.
"Saint Paul welcomes new and innovative ways to get around our community," she said. "We need to be thoughtful about how new options are safely and responsibly deployed and used."
She said the city is working with Bird to come up with next steps with them, but also have other ride-sharing programs in the works.
"Saint Paul Public Works has been working with a dockless bicycle company to develop a framework to deploy new bike sharing options throughout the city," she stated. "It was anticipated that this framework would then inform the usage of other shared transportation methods."
The Bird scooters were dropped off in Minneapolis, as well, on Tuesday. And several are available for rent within the downtown and north Minneapolis area. The Minneapolis City Council held a meeting on Tuesday to map out a specific ordinance for the low-power vehicles but say renting and riding the scooters is currently allowed under state and local regulations.