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Yaël Ksander
Communications Director
ksandery@bloomington.in.gov
812-349-3406
 

Bird, Lime Sign Agreement Regulating E-Scooter Operations in Bloomington

Bloomington, Ind. - The City’s negotiations with two companies operating electric scooter rental systems in Bloomington have resulted in an agreement that will allow both Bird Rides, Inc. and Neutron Holdings, Inc. DBA Lime to continue using the City’s parks and right-of-way to operate their business.

Signed November 14 by both Bird and Lime, the interim operating agreement will serve as the single regulating document for any e-scooter rental company doing business in the City of Bloomington until such time as municipal ordinance is passed.

“We are encouraged by both Lime’s and Bird’s willingness to collaborate with us to ensure that this alternative is integrated into Bloomington’s transportation network with the highest concern for the particular needs of our city and our residents,” said Mayor John Hamilton.  “We welcome folks’ continued engagement on issues of safety and accessibility as they relate to e-scooter use in Bloomington.”

The agreement establishes a fee structure that compensates the City for costs incurred by the operation of scooters in its parks and right-of-way, including those related to enforcement and infrastructure maintenance.  
 

  • Companies will pay the City an annual fee of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) as well as an additional fee of ten cents ($0.10) per ride on any scooter the company has deployed in the City, to be collected monthly.    

  • A provision within the agreement will give the City access to the company’s data relating to usage.  
     

Additionally, the contract effectuates the following actions:
 

  • Stipulates parameters for the use and parking of e-scooters in Bloomington;

  • Establishes requirements that the rental company provide locally relevant education for riders and communication with the general public on multiple platforms;

  • Identifies liability in the case of injury or damage to property; and

  • Assesses fines for the improper arrangement or parking of the vehicles.  The company is subject to a fifty-dollar ($50) fine for the improper staging of an e-scooter if its placement is not corrected promptly.  The fine is to be applied per vehicle, per day.


Over the next week, the City will be installing signs along Kirkwood Avenue and around the courthouse square that indicate sidewalks where riders must dismount from scooters, bicycles, skateboards, and related coasters.  Parking enforcement officials are issuing tickets and fines to riders who fail to observe the dismount area, and police officers continue to issue moving violations to scooter riders on the road who disregard stop signs and otherwise neglect traffic laws.

E-scooters have had a presence in Bloomington since the delivery of 100 Bird scooters September 13 and 450 Lime scooters September 29.  The City initiated negotiations with both companies in early October to work toward an agreement that would allow for the viability of the micro-mobility option in Bloomington while foregrounding the safety and accessibility of residents, and the shared enjoyment of public space.

On October 26, the City posted guidelines on its website and social media platforms that extend the Bloomington Municipal Code pertaining to bicycles to e-scooter use, after which time enforcement officials began issuing warnings and tickets.  Having been signed by both Bird and Lime, the interim operating agreement will be presented to the Board of Public Works and the Parks Commission for signatures within coming weeks in order to go into effect.  The agreement will serve to regulate e-scooter use in the City until, after additional public review, Common Council opts to pass an ordinance governing their deployment.
 

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