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Electric scooter company Bird said it was leaving Raleigh today ... but now it’s not.

Bird and Lime electric scooters are leaving Raleigh

Electric scooter companies Bird and Lime announced they were leaving Raleigh, including areas in downtown, NC State. The e-scooter businesses say they are leaving because of city council’s fees and rules.
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Electric scooter companies Bird and Lime announced they were leaving Raleigh, including areas in downtown, NC State. The e-scooter businesses say they are leaving because of city council’s fees and rules.

The electric scooter company Bird has decided not to leave the city just yet and will remain in Raleigh through July.

The California-based company said in late March it would leave April 30 because of the city’s “burdensome regulations.”

“Unfortunately, Raleigh city officials refuse to amend their burdensome regulations on e-scooter providers, and it no longer makes sense for us to provide our service under the city’s restrictive leadership,” Bird said in its statement then. “Our time in Raleigh must come to a close, but we hope to return in the future when city officials are ready to be more amenable to our business and industry as well as the needs of their constituents.”

The company sent a message to riders Tuesday afternoon.

“We aren’t ready to say goodbye just yet,” it said. “Bird will continue to fly in Raleigh through the end of July. Take a ride with us to explore Raleigh or get a breath of fresh air. We’ll save our goodbyes for later.”

Lime, an electric scooter company that brought its vehicles to the city after Bird, also announced in March it would be leaving the city but did not set a date.

In a statement to the News & Observer Monday, Lime said “Unless city council reconsiders their burdensome regulations, we will be forced to leave this summer.”

Under Raleigh’s agreement with the companies, Bird and Lime are allowed to continue operating through July 31. A staff email to the Raleigh City Council said that Lime will remain through July.

The city set March 26 as the deadline for companies to submit proposals to operate scooters in Raleigh after July 1. Neither Bird nor Lime submitted a proposal, but five other companies did, city spokeswoman Julia Milstead said in March.

Those companies are Bolt, Gotcha, Lyft, Spin and VeoRide.

‘A business decision’

“This is a business decision that [Bird and Lime] made,” said Michael Moore, Raleigh’s transportation director during a March 28 news conference.

“We are excited about the prospects of micro mobility here in Raleigh,” he said. “We need to do it in a way that is fair and balanced. That we take care of riders, but that we take care of the other users on the sidewalk and street space. We want to make sure we are doing that in a safe way.”

City staff is reviewing the five scooter companies that did apply and will make a recommendation at the council’s first meeting in June and not next week as originally planned.

“Specifically, (city staff) is conducting interviews of potential scooter providers and checking references with other communities where the scooter companies currently operate,” Moore wrote an email to the council. “Reviewing the companies’ performance and attitudes toward partnership and collaboration is an important step in selecting, and ultimately recommending, companies that will work with Raleigh’s interests.”

Lime scooters and bicycles will remain on N.C. State University’s campus, according to the email.

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