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.