Casper City Council to talk scooters as Bird Rides completes first year in Casper

Casper residents use a Bird Scooter in Downtown Casper (File Photo; Oil City News)

CASPER, Wyo. — Bird Rides, Inc. launched its dockless scooter service in Casper in August 2021 and has 200 scooters operating in the community.

As the company completes its first year of service in Casper, the City Council will hear an update regarding Bird Rides during its Tuesday, Aug. 9 work session.

The City of Casper received three complaints from businesses during Bird’s first year in operation about not wanting scooters to be used or parked on their properties, according to a memo from city staff. Bird responded by adding geo-fencing to prevent scooters from driving into those areas.

City staff has also received complaints from people about scooters being left in the middle of sidewalks or in front of houses, according to the memo. When such complaints were received city staff notified Bird to pick up the scooters and the company’s “response time has been prompt,” the memo said.

The City Council modified the city’s ordinances in August 2021 to allow dockless scooter businesses to operate in the community. The ordinance changes also removed restrictions on skateboards and other “toy vehicles” in the downtown Casper area.

Bird electronic scooters then arrived in late summer and people were seen zipping around the Casper area. Some problems were soon reported, such as people riding e-scooters on sidewalks downtown, which is prohibited under the city’s new law. Riding on sidewalks is allowed in some other areas as long as the person riding the scooter yields to pedestrians.

When Bird relaunched in spring, the scooters it put out on Casper streets were new “BirdThree” scooters.

With the arrival of warmer spring weather, Bird is preparing to release in Casper, Bird Account Manager Taylor Kenney said in a March 21 email to City of Casper staff. Kenney said that the scooters that will appear on Casper streets this spring are new “BirdThree” scooters.

“These vehicles not only improve rider experience, but also offer tremendous technological advances such as improved geofencing capabilities,” Bird Account Manager Taylor Kenney said in a March 21 email to City of Casper staff. “Specifically, our geofencing will be much more precise when it comes to ‘no ride zones,’ which was one of our priorities coming into this year given the learnings we had from last year.”

Kenney said in the email Monday that the exact timeline of Bird’s relaunch this spring “is still dependent on vehicle shipment and ramp-up times.”

The city staff memo regarding the City Council’s discussion on Tuesday is available below: