October 16, 2019 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Bird Rolls Out Private Scooter, Venice Seeks Further Regulation

By Sam Catanzaro 

With four major scooter companies on the Westside, it is easy to forget that before Jump, before Lyft and before Lime, Birds were the only e-scooter in Venice Beach. Now the transportation company, which some have valued as being worth over a billion dollars, is offering an e-scooter for private ownership to go alongside Bird’s fleet of rental scooters. As the company is looking to expand, however, local lawmakers are exploring further regulation. 

Bird One, which was announced by the company on Wednesday, is priced at $1,299 and has a range of 30 miles per charge. Bird One will also be available for people to ride as part of Bird’s shared fleet of e-scooters starting May 8. In a statement announcing the scooter’s arrival, Bird Founder and CEO Travis VanderZanden, touted Bird One as the company’s most durable scooter 

“Nearly two years ago, we launched our sharing business with retail, consumer e-scooters that lasted about three months in the sharing environment,” VanderZanden said. “[Bird One] is forecasted to last in the sharing environment for well over a year. Given the excitement and demand for our next generation e-scooter, we are also making a limited supply of Bird Ones available to own.

Bird One scooters will be available in three colors: black, white and rose. Devices will be delivered in the U.S. in the summer and  people who purchase Bird Ones will be given $100 in credit to use on Bird rental devices. 

While it is unclear how many people will purchase these devices, the rollout of Bird Ones in the rental market will begin in Los Angeles, and therefore many are expected to be seen zipping in and around Venice Beach, but riders of these devices — whether a rental or their own — should be wary of where they are riding. 

In an April 16 Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) meeting, a motion was passed unanimously that calls upon the City of Los Angeles to enforce existing regulations to keep all motorized vehicles off of the Bike Path and the Boardwalk. 

The illegal riding of Bird scooters is not the only aspect of these devices that local lawmakers are looking to regulate. In a separate motion passed on the 16th, the VNC calls on the City to add a requirement that anyone charging e-scooters show proof of a valid Department of Water and Power (DWP) utility bill in their name, or written permission from the owner or landlord of their residence. 

“A utility bill in the name of an apartment owner would require a letter of approval from owner whose name the bill is addressed to before apartment renter can participate in the charging program,” reads the motion, which was sent to Councilmember Mike Bonin,  Mayor Eric Garcetti, the Coastal Commission and LADOT. “Individuals or businesses without a utility bill in their name at a valid Los Angeles City address shall be prohibited from participating in the charging program.” 

The VNC also in the motion called for designated parking zones for scooters and modifications to the devices that will render the scooters inoperable on public right of ways, including bike paths. 

Another concern of lawmakers is the safety of these devices. According to a recent study by the Austin Public Health Department, half of the injuries in a two-month period involving e-scooters were categorized as severe. 

These findings are similar to a January 2019 UCLA study that shed light on the dangers of e-scooter crashes. 

According to the researchers, people involved in e-scooter accidents are often injured seriously enough — from fractures, dislocated joints and head trauma — to require treatment in emergency rooms.

“We’ve seen teeth knocked out, jaws broken in several places, noses crushed and head injuries including skull fractures. The most common injuries are wrist, ankle, collarbone and shoulder fractures,” said Dr. Wally Ghurabi, medical director of the Nethercutt Emergency Center at UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica.

The researchers examined data from 249 people who were treated at the emergency departments of UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica, and Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center between Sept. 1, 2017, and Aug. 31, 2018. The study found that about one-third of them arrived by ambulance, an indication of the severity of their injuries.

The Austin study, unlike the UCLA study, offers richer insight into scooter crashes because the researchers interviewed riders who were involved in crashes. One-third of riders were injured during their first ever ride on these devices. 38 percent said they would use a scooter again and One-third said they received zero training on how to operate the scooter before riding it.

Related Posts

40 Units of Permanent Supportive Housing on Lincoln Boulevard?

October 15, 2019

October 15, 2019

Venice Community Housing submits proposal to LA City Planning By Sam Catanzaro An auto repair shop on Lincoln Boulevard in...

Edify TV: Westside Measles Exposure

October 15, 2019

October 15, 2019

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has announced that a person with measles visited several Westside businesses this...

Man Who Died on Venice Beach Last Week Identified

October 15, 2019

October 15, 2019

Cause of Timothy Hutson’s death still unknown By Sam Catanzaro Over the weekend investigators identified a man whose body was...

Body found on Venice beach, Building affordable housing too expensive? House homeless in already built units and temporary shelters? Yo! Venice This Week October 14, 2019

October 14, 2019

October 14, 2019 1

Yo! Venice This Week October 14, 2019 – all your local news and happenings in under 5 minutes.* Body found...

Prince vs. Bowie silent disco on the Santa Monica Pier, Los Angeles Brazilian Film Festival: Yo! Venice Westside Local – Oct. 11 2019

October 11, 2019

October 11, 2019

Yo! Venice Westside Local – Oct. 11th 2019 – all your local events and happenings in under 5 minutes.* Prince...

Body Found on Venice Beach

October 9, 2019

October 9, 2019

Body found Wednesday morning By Sam Catanzaro The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is investigating a body that was found...

Building Affordable too Costly? Use Existing Units to House Homeless

October 9, 2019

October 9, 2019

Report released showing cost of developing affordable housing in Los Angeles By Sam Catanzaro As the Los Angeles City Controller...

Letter to the Editor: Bringing Homeless into Policymaking?

October 8, 2019

October 8, 2019

Dear Editor: It was ironic to see your cover story (Bringing Homeless into Policymaking? – 9/26/19), with yet another dubious...

Man arrested for stabbing wife on Speedway near Venice Beach, Thatcher Yard development to break ground in 2020: Yo! Venice This Week: October 7

October 7, 2019

October 7, 2019

Yo! Venice This Week: October 7, 2019 – all your local news and happenings in under 5 minutes* Man arrested...

Man Arrested After Repeatedly Stabbing Wife in Venice

October 7, 2019

October 7, 2019

LAPD arrest man on suspicion of murder Friday night By Sam Catanzaro A man was arrested in Venice Beach Friday...

Venice student donates over $1,000 to Bahamas relief effort, Skate, Bike, and Roll Breast Cancer event: Yo! Venice Westside Local October 4 2019

October 4, 2019

October 4, 2019

Yo! Venice Westside Local October 4 2019 – all your fun local events and happenings in under 5 minutes.* Venice...

Thatcher Yard to Break Ground in 2020

October 4, 2019

October 4, 2019 1

98 units of housing for seniors and formally homeless families By Sam Catanzaro According to a report recently released by...

Venice Fifth Grader Raises Over $1,000 for Families Devastated by Hurricane Dorian

October 2, 2019

October 2, 2019

10-year-old Scarlett Johnson raises money for Direct Relief By Keldine Hull As students around the world become more vocal about...

Bonin Calls For Investigation Into Playa del Rey Oil Facility, Water fountains near Venice homeless encampment: Yo! Venice This Week September 30

October 1, 2019

October 1, 2019

Yo! Venice This Week September 30 – all your local news in under 5 minutes.* Bonin Calls For Investigation Into...