What is a “BIRD”? The Controversy over Scooters in SoCal

If you live in Southern California, there is little doubt you have seen the controversy over scooters – especially those displaying the “Bird” brand. For readers who aren’t familiar with the controversy, or are not caught up on the latest, let’s take a look at what the “Bird” is, and why SoCal is in an uproar over their presence.

What is a “Bird”?

Bird is a brand that offers electronic scooters through a ride-sharing program and mobile app. So, a “Bird” is a scooter powered by electric charging stations located throughout partnering cities. Bird as a brand promises to “make transportation better & more environmentally friendly”, but what is happening in SoCal appears to be far from “better” or “friendly”.

The Controversy over Scooters

For months now, SoCal residents have been pushing back against what is being called the “electric scooter craze”. Residents are concerned about the increase in auto accidents and the fact that many scooter operators are not obeying traffic laws. The presence of so many scooters on sidewalks is also viewed by many to be a form of littering and clutter.

Bird is one of the major scooter brands that has been targeted by SoCal residents, who are now reportedly using creative, albeit questionable, means to battle the problem. Various media sources throughout SoCal have reported on incidents of vandalism, where scooters are being trashed, thrown into the ocean, and made into creative works of art.

So far, law enforcement, including the LAPD, seems less than concerned about the vandalism, as their departments are incredibly busy preserving safety and life, and fighting crime. It appears that there are few in SoCal who are advocating for Birds and their place in society. In fact, some communities, like Santa Monica, are working hard to curb the use of scooters on their streets through official means.