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Parish News

Why Is There A BIRD On The Corner?

Dec 01, 2018 03:01PM ● By Flint Zerangue, Sr.

UPDATED 12/10/2018 -- In early December, as if by magic, black Birds started appearing on street corners near ULL, the Oil Center, and Downtown Lafayette. Two here, three there, I counted eight on my short trip to the post office. Odd, yes, but more intriguing was that there was no kiosk, signage, or attendant watching over the flock of what was obviously a scooter named BIRD™.

Upon further investigation, we learned that the "Bird" is a new rent-to-ride electric scooter.

The company's website states, "Bird is passionate about vibrant communities that have less traffic, cleaner air, and safer streets. We’re working with cities and universities across the world to provide new transportation options, complement public transit systems, and invest in safety infrastructure that benefits everyone."

We reached out to the company, and they confirmed that Birds are indeed in Lafayette.

According to a Bird spokesperson, “Lafayette is a forward-thinking city that shares our vision of getting cars off the road to reduce traffic and carbon emissions. Bird hopes to work closely with city officials to develop a framework that works for everyone so that the Lafayette community can have access to our fun and affordable transportation option. We are in touch with city officials, and we look forward to meeting with them early next week."  

The Bird rent-to-ride electric scooter uses an APP for timed rentals, and while the company’s APP and website are informative, the lack of training for users, the legality of their use on public streets, and the liability risks leave room for concern.  

Updates on this story will be available online as more details become available. Visit MyParishNews.com to learn more.

Photos by Parish News