Scooter Companies Get OK in Bloomington

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The city of Bloomington is the latest to reach an agreement regarding the regulation of two popular electric scooter rental systems. The city says the interim deal with Bird and Lime, which recently began operating in Indianapolis, will remain in place until an official municipal ordinance is passed.

The agreement will allow Bird and Lime, as well as any other e-scooter rental company, to continue to use the city’s parks and right-of-way to operate their businesses. It establishes a fee structure that includes companies paying the city an annual fee of $10,000, as well as a monthly fee of 10 cents per ride on any scooter the company has deployed in the city.

"We are encouraged by both Lime’s and Bird’s willingness to collaborate with us to ensure that this alternative is integrated into Bloomington’s transportation network with the highest concern for the particular needs of our city and our residents," Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton said in a news release. "We welcome folks’ continued engagement on issues of safety and accessibility as they relate to e-scooter use in Bloomington."

The agreement also makes the following actions official:

  • Stipulates parameters for the use and parking of e-scooters in Bloomington;
  • Establishes requirements that the rental company provide locally relevant education for riders and communication with the general public on multiple platforms;
  • Identifies liability in the case of injury or damage to property; and
  • Assesses fines for the improper arrangement or parking of the vehicles.  The company is subject to a fifty-dollar ($50) fine for the improper staging of an e-scooter if its placement is not corrected promptly.  The fine is to be applied per vehicle, per day.   

In August, the city of Indianapolis gave approval for Bird and Lime to operate within the city. Lime's website also has operations in South Bend and Elkhart, while Bird also has a presence in West Lafayette.

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