Bird, a startup that deploys electric scooters with location trackers on city sidewalks and rents them through an app, trumpeted two weeks ago that it was bringing its service to San Francisco. The company, run by a former honcho at both Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc., said it was determined to make sure everything went smoothly with city officials.It failed. On Monday, San Francisco sent cease and desist letters to Bird Rides Inc. and two other motorized scooter companies, LimeBike and Spin. The business practices of all three companies “create a public nuisance and are unlawful,” wrote City Attorney Dennis Herrera. San Francisco has been warning the companies for weeks, he said. Herrera presented the companies with a list of changes the city wants them to make and demanded written progress reports by the end of the month. GPS-enabled scooters and bicycles are spreading across several major U.S. cities, driven by a wave of venture capital into a handful of companies. Policymakers are scrambling to find ways to regulate the great scooter boom of 2018. San Francisco’s board of supervisors on Tuesday passed a bill requiring electric scooter rental companies to get city permits. The transportation department in Austin, Texas, presented lawmakers with its own plan to regulate scooters on Tuesday, and asked for a n emergency vote by the full council next Thursday. In Washington,… Read full this story
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