Today, City of Charleston Assistant Corporation Counsel Steve Ruemelin sent a cease and desist letter to Bird Rides, Inc. regarding their operation of an unlicensed and illegal motorized scooter rental program in the city.
The letter is attached and the text is copied below:
RE: Cease and Desist
To Whom It May Concern:
We recently became aware that your company, BIRD RIDES, INC., is operating an unlicensed and illegal motorized scooter rental program in the City of Charleston, South Carolina. Apparently, you began your operations after being advised by the City of Charleston staff that the activity was illegal. Specifically, the activity of renting and operating motorized scooters violates Sec. 54-223 and Section 19-133, Code of the City of Charleston. It also appears that Bird Rides, Inc. is operating this business without a City of Charleston issued business license.
Over the weekend, City of Charleston police officers observed BIRD scooters that were left unattended haphazardly on the City's sidewalks creating trip hazards and eye sores. The illegal scooter rental program is creating an endangerment to the public health and safety and is further creating a public nuisance on the City's streets and sidewalks, interfering with the right of the public to use the public rights of way in a safe and unobstructed fashion in violation of Sec. 21- 51(2) Code of the City of Charleston.
Accordingly, the City of Charleston is hereby placing BIRD RIDES, INC. on notice to immediately cease and desist this illegal conduct and remove all scooters from the City of Charleston. In the event the company fails to do so, please be advised that the City will pursue all available remedies to stop the public safety hazard and nuisance created by this activity. This includes issuing citations to BIRD RIDES, INC. and its agents in South Carolina.
Please be advised that each time a scooter is rented and for each day a scooter remains in the City, it is considered a separate violation of the City' s Code for which an additional criminal citation can be issued. The penalties for these violations range anywhere from $1.00 to $1,092 and/or 30 days in jail. In the event a scooter is left unattended in the public right of way and is determined by the Charleston Police Department to create a traffic hazard (pedestrian or motor vehicle), the scooter will be removed from the public right of way and impounded at the Charleston Police Department.
Assistant Corporation Counsel