Scooter network must pay $300,000 and get its paperwork in order

By Joe Piasecki

Bird scooters are roosting just about everywhere in Santa Monica
Photo courtesy of Bird Rides Inc.

The company behind the suddenly ubiquitous Bird scooters has reached a settlement with the city of Santa Monica, both parties announced Wednesday.

In exchange for dropping the criminal complaint against them, Bird has agreed to pay more than $300,000 in fines, get its city business paperwork in order and run a weeklong public safety education campaign on the Big Blue Bus.

“We are pleased that Bird and the City of Santa Monica were able to work out our differences regarding licensure,” Bird spokesman Marcus Reese said in a company statement on Wednesday. “Under the agreement, the city agreed to dismiss the nine original misdemeanor counts, and the company agreed to plead no contest to a single infraction of the city’s municipal code. Bird now starts fresh with the city, and we look forward to continuing to provide a safe, environmentally friendly transportation solution to the people of Santa Monica.”

With this agreement, Bird and [CEO Travis] VanderZanden acknowledge that they failed to comply with the City of Santa Monica’s business licensing requirements which are designed to protect the safety of the public,” said Deputy City Attorney Eda Suh. “Bringing this new business into compliance with local law achieves a fair and positive outcome for the people of Santa Monica.”

The plea agreement must still be approved by the California Superior Court before it becomes effective. Prosecutors and Bird will return to court on February 26th to seek Court approval of this plea agreement.