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1/9/2019 11:23:00 AM
More expensive scooter rides at Purdue? Bird drops hints in face of West Lafayette fees

Dave Bangert, Journal and Courier Columnist

WEST LAFAYETTE – Could Bird scooter fans at Purdue and in West Lafayette be in for a price hike if the city follows through on promised permit fees and 13 pages of new rules and regulations?

“No, not saying that would happen in West Lafayette,” Mackenzie Long, a government communications representative for Bird Rides Inc., said Tuesday.

But a day after the West Lafayette City Council started fine-tuning an ordinance that would force scooter companies to pay to enter the market – as opposed to the dump-and-run business model city officials felt they were saddled with when Bird arrived in town in August – the Bird folks wanted to be sure this story from 692 miles to the east was on the radar.

Here’s the deal: On Monday, the Santa Monica, California-based firm tacked on $2 to each rental in Raleigh, North Carolina, for what Bird called a “transportation fee.” That was in addition to the $1 Bird’s smartphone app charges to unlock one of its dockless scooters and the 15 cents per minute that follow.

The reason? Raleigh legislated a fee to every scooter put on the streets of the city with 464,000 people.

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