Columbus keeping close eye on number and location of shared scooters

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The City of Columbus administration is keeping a close eye on the number of shared scooters and bikes being distributed across town.

The Columbus Department of Public Service required at least 100 vehicles be placed in struggling neighborhoods, termed by the city as "opportunity neighborhoods."

"Twenty percent have to be in the opportunity neighborhoods of the City of Columbus. In looking through the data, we found that those guidelines were not necessarily being followed all the way," said Michael Liggett, spokesperson for the department.

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The city found that only a fraction of the required number in the contractual agreement was being provided in areas like Linden, Near East, Franklinton and the Hilltop.

"We can absolutely understand from a business perspective, of course, they want their scooters to be in the areas where they are going to be most highly used," Liggett explained. "But, we as a city have to take into account the larger perspective, not just Bird or Lime and the other vendors' bottom lines."

The city sent letters of violation to both companies. They have since been working with each company to ensure compliance. Spokespersons for the companies replied to city administrators via email.

From Bird Rides, Inc:
"We're reviewing everything and will ensure compliance on data report timing, and all other matters moving forward. Appreciate you all."

From Lime Bike:
"Thank you so much for your confidence in our service. We really enjoy working in Columbus and with the City staff. Please do not hesitate to reach out if there are any issues.