Bird Scooters – here to stay, or time for them to fly away

Erik Acosta, Opinions Editor

Bird Scooter in thrash. Photo Credit: Instagram page @BirdGraveyard

Bird Scooters, the battery-powered rideshare service that is taking over San Diego. Since their start one year ago, in September of 2017, they have climbed up the rideshare ladder, and have been putting up an electric competition to the other rideshare services, most importantly the ride share bicycles. Yet, they have been receiving an incredible amount of backlash from the public in several places.


An Instagram account named @birdgraveyard has been sharing hundreds of photos of scooters being destroyed. In one of their latest videos, a bird scooter is thrown from what appears to be a six-story parking garage. In another, a white pick up truck running over another one of the infamous electric scooters. The page goes on and on, with the documentation of the destruction of the electric scooters.


It appears that the public isn’t the only ones that are frustrated with the flocking birds. According to a Fox 11 article published on Jul 23, 2018, “Santa Monica PD told FOX 11 that over the weekend, they made 900 stops and seized 250 electric scooters.” Even closer to home, NBC San Diego published a story on Sep 3, 2018, of a man who was hit in the Gaslamp riding one of the scooters. This makes residents wonder, is the valuable time of public emergency response services being taken over, just like the unsightly scooters are taking up the sidewalks?


Then again, can we blame the rideshare companies for the actions of its users? When car accidents happen, the blame is never put on Toyota or Ford, it’s put on the operator of the vehicle. Upon the many gripes that citizens have against them, they do offer some undeniable conveniences. For starters, download the app, find yourself a scooter, pay the price, and you’re on your way to your destination, without the sweat inducing pedaling of the rideshare bicycles. Scooters are much easier to ride than bicycles and let’s face it, it’s hard to walk 3 blocks in San Diego without finding at least one of them waiting, perched up on the sidewalk, waiting for you to step right on up, and go for a ride.


One of it’s biggest selling points of the e-scoots is their dock-less ability, basically being able to leave them wherever the user pleases. Which is also one of it’s biggest downfalls. Without a central docking station, the scooters seem to be left wherever users please. In front of driveways, in the street, or as @birdgraveyard has so courteously shown us, on fire in the middle of the sidewalk.


One thing is for certain though, they are becoming more convenient for the e-scoot riders. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB2989, a bill that will let riders of electric scooters mount them without helmets, as long as the users are 18 years old or older. It will also raise the speed limit for the e-scoots in some cities from a comfortable 25 mph to a stellar 35 mph. It certainly looks like the flock of birds won’t be easily chased off by angry Instagram users.