• Local county puts brakes on popular electric scooters with temporary ban

    By: Berndt Petersen

    Updated:

    ATHENS-CLAKE COUNTY, Ga. - The Athens-Clarke County Commission has temporarily banned electric scooters and has ordered the company that brought them to the area to pick them up.

    The company, Bird, brought the electronic scooters to town over the summer. University and city officials told Channel 2's Berndt Petersen they showed up "without any notice."

    Over the last couple of months, the University of Georgia has impounded 1,200 scooters illegally parked on campus and they've hit Bird with more than $700,000 in fines.  

    "We recognize this is an excellent alternative form of transportation. We're not against it. We just have public safety and equity issues," said Commissioner Jerry NeSmith.

    On the UGA campus, senior Alyssa Hartman said they're dangerous and school officials said they have the video to prove it.

    "Yeah, really dangerous. I think at Georgia Southern they've had a few accidents with the scooters.  I feel it'll happen here eventually. So it's safer to get rid of them on campus," Hartman said. 


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    Officials said cameras mounted on campus buses documented how reckless riders can be.  

    UGA said they have no interest in partnering with Bird to make scooters available on campus.  

    Some students we talked hope they'll reconsider.

    "I've seen the video of the people cutting off buses and slowing down traffic. But if I'm late to class and don't have time for an Uber, I can get on a Bird and take it to class and be there on time," said UGA sophomore Raj Patel.

    A spokesperson from Bird sent us a statement calling this a "regressive decision." They went on to say that banning Bird is "anti-business" and they hope the city will remedy this.

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