After a new dockless scooter system launched here on Friday, the city looks to set regulations for their operation.
A Memphis City Council committee recommended approval of an ordinance Tuesday that would regulate the Bird scooter system and other all shared-mobility systems here.
The ordinance requires bicycle and scooter sharing program operators to apply for a Scooter Sharing permit from the city and pay the corresponding fees.
The ordinance also states that the city is not responsible for educating the public about the laws and safety regulations for operating scooters or bikes.
If the ordinance is passed by the full council, the city will create operating regulations to govern the use of shared-mobility systems within 30 days.
In the meantime, Bird and Memphis have entered into an interim operating agreement, which include regulations for parking, operating, and riding the scooters.
The agreement states that the city will regulate Bird parking. Users here are required to snap a picture of the scooter within the Bird app after their ride to ensure the scooters are parked in acceptable spots. Acceptable spots are those near street furniture, like park benches and light poles. Unacceptable locations include transit zones, handicapped parking spots, and entryways.
Bird also has to pay the city a one-time $500 permit fee and then annual renewal fees of $250. The company is also giving Memphis $50 per scooter, capping at $20,000. Additionally, Bird will give the city $1 per scooter per day for shared infrastructure improvements and maintenance. The company has also agreed to invest in community outreach and promote the use of Birds in low-income neighborhoods.
For users, the city is asking that scooters are rode on the street or in bike lanes when possible. Helmets are encouraged, but are only required for minors. The city is requiring that Bird provide a 24-hour customer service line for riders.