‘Arbitrary and whimsical,’ says the company

Bird is one of several e-scooter companies operating in Washington, DC. E-scooters are incredibly practical for city travel; millions of rides are made every year. But since January 1, Bird scooters have disappeared from the city’s sidewalks.

The reason for this became clear: the Department of Transportation (DDOT) did not renew Bird’s license to operate. The company is fighting the decision and has filed a petition with the D.C. Superior Court.

Indeed, the city’s move to block Bird scooters seems highly irregular. DDOT renewed licenses for three other companies — Lime, Lyft and Spin — and issued one to a newer entrant, VeoRide. The city previously announced plans to allow up to five e-scooter companies to operate within the city, so it appears there is room for Bird as well.

City officials ranked the five companies based on various criteria, including sustainability, safety and fairness. Bird finished fifth with a total of 445 points and was not renewed. This was just one point less but the fourth-placed, which he was renewed. It’s hard to understand why Bird’s nearly identical score didn’t qualify.

Moreover, Bird claims in his petition that the officials who rated the company clearly erred by awarding the company zero points in certain categories where the lowest possible score was one.

“There is room in the regulations for five operators, and we are confident that our application, if evaluated correctly, will make Bird eligible for a permit, which will benefit drivers and our logistics partners in DC,” said Maggie Hoffman, vice president of the city’s growth and strategy at Bird, do DCist. “We are filing this appeal because DDOT’s arbitrary and capricious decisions will harm county residents who rely on Bird.”

arbitrarily and capricious appear to be accurate descriptions of the behavior of the transport authority. I say this as a Washington, DC resident and frequent e-scooter rider. (Disclaimer: I’ve participated in a number of promotions to get free rides, especially from Bird.) The differences between Birds, Limes, Lyfts, and Spins are minor, having to do with locking mechanisms, areas where geo-fencing works, and literal appearance and scooter design. There is obviously no justification for concluding that Birds are a unique public threat. The city doesn’t even pretend there’s a big difference compared to Bird — the company’s score was just one point lower.

DDOT should do the right thing: release the bird, now.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *